(good) Horror Films discussion

Foreign Horror > Suspiria (Dario Argento)

Comments Showing 1-10 of 10 (10 new)    post a comment »
dateDown arrow    newest »

message 1: by Alex DeLarge (new)

Alex DeLarge | 226 comments Somehow I had missed this one over the years, and when I discovered it was being released on Blu-ray in the UK I had too purchase it. This could be one of the most stylish horror films I've ever seen. Well worth the price of importing the disc.

SUSPIRIA (Dario Argento, 1977, Italy) The Freeborge School of Ballet becomes a danse macabre, as a coven of hags flourish like a secret garden of blooming iris. SUSPIRIA begins on a dark and stormy night, the cracking thunder and nervous rain drowned under a pummeling crescendo of guitars and bombastic drums. The soundtrack overwhelms the senses while the visuals bleed Technicolor fury as a terrified woman’s final words are muted…and she flees into the night. Director Dario Argento conjures forth a magical sense of dread and destruction with meretricious inventiveness, utilizing vibrant colors and ostentatious set-designs while gradually revealing the ghostly footsteps that echo down the school’s haunted corridors.

Suzy is an American girl, resourceful and independent, who finds herself intoxicated with the ambition of becoming a world-class dancer…and drunk with blood-red wine. Her nights become a restless coma until she finally discovers that her food is being drugged. Freeborge is run like a prison, the teachers the warders, and the students that stay at the school are soon to be awarded a prestigious degree in the Arts…the Black Arts! Suzy clashes with these taskmasters but soon develops a relationship with Sarah, and the two of them soon unravel the twining mystery of razor wire.

Argento shocks with gaudy death scenes and revels in the quick-cut gore, allowing the camera to linger over the sliced faces and nail-pierced eyes, but also allows the characters to breath before their expiration. From the creepy malformed assistant to a ceiling dripping with maggots, he regurgitates many horror conventions but frames them in interesting ways. Argento also divulges the furtive whisper spoken at the film’s beginning and the remainder of the plot focuses upon Suzy’s ability to figure it out. Most of the film is kept within the school, which heightens this claustrophobic terror of being isolated from the real world. Suzy’s meeting with the psychologist is pure exposition, a quick way to disclose background information, but Argento’s use of extreme low angle frames the characters against a blue sky…that wonderfully offsets their tenebrous conversation.

Armed with forbidden knowledge, Suzy seeks to follow the footsteps and confront the Mater Suspiriorum. She traverses the hidden door and wanders towards her doom, realizing she cannot become part of the coven, only victim of it. But salvation is found with determination and a glass feather. Final Grade: (B+)

message 2: by Alex DeLarge (new)

Alex DeLarge | 226 comments I was wondering if there was another Argento film worth seeing: KD, which of his early films would you recommend?

message 3: by Alex DeLarge (new)

Alex DeLarge | 226 comments Thanks KD. DEEP RED stars David Hemmings...cool! From you to queue.

If you have a code free player check out SUSPERIA on blu-ray. It has a few color issues but otherwise looks great, and has a complete lossless soundtrack that packs a punch.

message 4: by Steve (new)

Steve I actually like OPERA a good deal, but I hear what King Dinosaur is saying.

message 5: by Jill (new)

Jill (wanderingrogue) | 51 comments Alex DeLarge wrote: "I was wondering if there was another Argento film worth seeing: KD, which of his early films would you recommend? "

For what it's worth, I liked Phenomena. It stars a young, Labyrinth-era Jennifer Connelly. It's definitely from the more WTF?! era of Argento.

message 6: by Alex DeLarge (new)

Alex DeLarge | 226 comments Thanks for the recommendations: I'll check 'em out and write reviews.

message 7: by Phillip (new)

Phillip hey jill,

i happened upon phenomena recently and liked it...as much as you can like an argento movie. it was definitely a trip to see jennifer connelly looking like a teenager!

message 8: by WitchyFingers (new)

WitchyFingers Phillip wrote: "hey jill,

i happened upon phenomena recently and liked it...as much as you can like an argento movie."

This is one that I definitely want to see soon, especially now that it has the PG seal of approval!

message 9: by Phillip (new)

Phillip ;)

message 10: by WitchyFingers (new)

WitchyFingers King Dinösaur wrote: "Suspiria - If all of Argento's films were this good I might have become a real fan. As it is, this is pretty much the only one (after his early giallos) that makes any freakin' sense."

Sad but true

back to top