Directed by Dario Argento
Written by Dario Argento & Daria Nicolodi
Starring: Jessica Harper, Stefania Casini, and Flavio Bucci
A newcomer to a fancy ballet academy gradually comes to realize that the staff of the school are actually a coven of witches bent on chaos and destruction.
Why I waited 20+ years to watch this a second time is beyond me. Argento’s stylish and beautifully filmed horror tale of witchcraft at a German dance school, stands the true test of time. Filmed with anamorphic lenses and draped in vivid colors, Suspiria proves that sometimes the classics can’t be beat. When Suzy (Harper) arrives at a renowned ballet school, she discovers the school is something more than a school – something treacherous. Under the command of an overbearing matriarch, Suzy questions her own sanity as ominous events begin to occur.
One of the best things about this film is the dark tone it takes on in the background. A rustle of tree branches, a closing door, shadows; they all mesh to convey the oppressing tone of the film’s true visage. It takes a generous amount of time before the viewer realizes just what those reverberating notes and other exercises of fear are leading to. As far as pure atmosphere goes, Suspiria is a master class of suspense and dread. If you feel like you’re breaking a sweat along with the protagonist, you’re not alone.
The film certainly doesn’t lack style or substance, the acting and directing are remarkable. This large ensemble cast works very well within Argento’s diabolical parameters. Filled with several scenes of brilliant red and blue lighting, the blend of purple saturates the screen at times, giving the viewer a visual treat not typically seen in horror during this time period. If you’re a serious fan of the genre, you can’t go wrong with Suspiria. I would urge all horror lovers to submerge themselves in this classic tale of evil subterfuge.