Directed by Dario Argento [Other horror films: L’uccello dalle piume di cristallo (1970), Il gatto a nove code (1971), 4 mosche di velluto grigio (1971), Profondo rosso (1975), Inferno (1980), Tenebre (1982), Phenomena (1985), Opera (1987), Due occhi diabolici (1990, segment ‘The Black Cat’), Trauma (1993), La sindrome di Stendhal (1996), Il fantasma dell’opera (1998), Non ho sonno (2001), Il cartaio (2003), Ti piace Hitchcock? (2005), La terza madre (2007), Giallo (2009), Dracula 3D (2012), Occhiali neri (2022)]
This stylistic flick is a lot of fun, and while it doesn’t live up to Argento’s previous Deep Red, Suspiria is a solidly atmospheric flick.
Witches aren’t something that are dealt with too commonly in horror, so Argento going that route proved a wise move, especially as he was able to craft a movie of this atmosphere, with both moody tension and good gore (when the film deigned to go that direction). The gore is quite good, mostly in the first murder sequence, but the razor-wire room is fun also.
Jessica Harper wasn’t a big name before this film, and really didn’t become that big of a name after it, which is a bit of a shame, as I thought she did really well here. Unfortunately, while it’s not that big a deterrent, none of the other actors/actresses involved were that memorable, but it doesn’t leave that much a negative impact.
The artistic style this movie has can’t really be matched, what with amazing color schemes and music composed by Goblin. Really, just for these aspects alone, disregarding the story, the movie would probably be a must see (and I generally see a lot more compliments about the style of the film over the content, to be sure). All-around great use of camera, lighting, and music to bring a creepy vibe to this one.
While certainly not my favorite horror film of the 1970’s (I don’t know if it’d even make my top 25), Suspiria has a lot of character, and certainly, if you can find an uncut version, even if it is dubbed, to watch, I think that you’ll probably have a good time. Even after three, maybe four viewings myself, I still find the film quite fun, and I only wish the ending was a bit more conclusive.