Friday, October 28, 2016

Movie Review: "Suspiria" (1977)

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Director: Dario Argento
Year: 1977
Rating: R
Running Time: 1 hour, 32 minutes

An American ballerina named Suzy (Jessica Harper) is invited to join an elite dance school in Germany. Upon arriving, things don't seem right from the get go, but when those associated with the academy start getting murdered, Suzy becomes determined to unravel the mystery of it all.

Directed by acclaimed Italian director Dario Argento, "Suspiria" is a horror mystery written by Argento along with Daria Nicolodi. It is based on the novel "Suspiria de Profundi" by Thomas de Quincey. It revolves around a prestigious German ballet school that has a rather sordid history. It stars Jessica Harper as Suzy Bannion, an American ballerina invited to study at the school. The first night she arrives, she notices strange things right off the bat, like a student leaving the school in the middle of the night in a torrential downpour rainstorm. The next morning, she discovers that very student has been murdered. Strange occurrences continue to happen throughout her stay at the academy as she tries to unravel the mystery of what is going on.

Dario Argento brings his unique visual style to this intriguing supernatural murder mystery. Argento is a master class horror director, and he has a great use of vivid and bright colors that sets an almost surreal atmosphere. The band Goblins comprises the soundtrack, which makes an even more unsettling tone throughout the movie (though the music is very loud and very jagged). There are a couple of super creepy and disturbing death scenes that are shown in extremely graphic detail, which will delight not just horror fans, but 70's horror fans as well. The blood in these murder scenes is really bright red, giving these gruesome acts an artistic look in their horror. We wouldn't say the acting is anything spectacular here, though it would be hard to tell anyways since it appears as if all of the dialogue has been dubbed in post production, which is often the case with Argento pictures.

"Suspiria" is a methodically paced, eerie, often gruesome supernatural horror mystery. The tension is sustained at a high level because of its pacing, soundtrack, and relentless string of gore and blood. This is definitely one of the best Dario Argento's films and worth seeking out for fans who don't mind old school Italian horrors.

My Rating: 8/10
BigJ's Rating: 8/10
IMDB's Rating: 7.5/10
Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 93%
Do we recommend this movie: Yes!
One year ago, we were being scared by: "Hostel"

Two years ago, we were being scared by: "Saw II"

Three years ago, we were being scared by"A Nightmare on Elm Street"

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