What can I possibly say about the horror classic, Suspiria? It is widely considered Dario Argento’s best film. The use of color has been praised and dissected for decades now. And the film is considered a classic in the genre. I can still remember the outcry of how this film was untouchable when the remake was announced. Suspiria is the holy grail of Italian cinema for most horror fans. Now, this is where I come in. Admittedly, I was a late viewer to this film. I could never find it to rent physically and it never seemed to be on any of the streaming services. Thanks to a very good buddy, Josh Allred, I finally got to watch this iconic horror film very recently. And, boy, was I not prepared for the visual treat I was about to watch.
One thing I noticed, which I don’t see covered a lot about this film, is the use of mystery elements with the horror. Based off my research, Argento usually mixes these two genres up a lot. I point this out because it puts Suspiria in a very unique place. Instead of showing us at the beginning what is killing off our characters, Argento spends the runtime not telling us. Instead, we try to figure out what is going in this ballet school (A smart horror film, how dare they!). While we’re trying to solve the mystery ourselves, we also get some nice, gruesome moments. The Italians were never shy about showing the audience the good stuff. This film is no exception. A man’s throat ripped out, throat sliced, and one girl viciously hanged. It’s all shown in gruesome, delightful glory. And, obviously, I can’t go on without saying anything about the use of color. Argento is commonly recognized for his use of color in his films and for good reason. Every scene is washed in some kind of blue, red, or green hue. Even the sets are brightly colored. While this may seem pointless, this is actually just another tool Argento uses to tell the audience the story. (Again, smart horror. That doesn’t exist.)
Suspiria is a classic for a reason. I would say it’s Argento’s masterpiece, but I need to watch more of his films. The deaths are brutal, the color is mesmerizing, and the mystery is engaging. I may have been late to the party on this one, but I’m glad I’ve finally watched it. Suspiria is a damn great horror film which showcases the talents of Dario Argento. Just be careful when you go to a prestigious ballet school in Germany.
The original Suspiria remains one of the most influential horror films of the 20th century and a masterwork of Italian filmmaking. From the mind of Master of Horror, Dario Argento, Suspiria is a fairy tale seen through the lens of a madman. It's one of the few horror movies that caught me off guard and scared me, and even today, it remains absolutely terrifying thanks to its mind-bending score and disturbing, yet beautiful visuals.
A young American named Suzy Bannion (Jessica Harper) is accepted into a prestigious dancing academy in Germany, only to discover that the school is harboring a dark secret. It's governed by a witch coven seeking to restore their leader to her original state, and Suzy may know too much. There are so many horrifying sequences, particularly one involving one of the school's dancers, a pair of disembodied eyes, and a lot of razor wire. It's easy to see why this film has endured and even spawned a decent remake.
Suspiria is Argento's undisputed masterpiece, and a true work of art that uses the horror medium to tell a sort of modern-day Grimm's fairy tale. The performances are memorable (though the English dubbing could've been better), and the cinematography is absolutely stunning. This is a horror movie that every horror fan should definitely watch at least once.