October 16, 2016 at 11:45 pm (10 Heads, Suspiria) (, , , , , )

Suspiria – 1977 – Italy

Suzy, an American woman, enrolls in a German ballet school. She arrives late at night in a torrential downpour. The door is locked and she is told to go away. She sees a panicked woman flee into the woods. The next day, Suzy returns to school to discover the fleeing woman was murdered later that night. Suzy begins training at the school and the ominous events escalate. Maggots infest the dormitory. A friendly dog goes berserk. Suzy suffers from a mysterious illness. Her friend believes the faculty is a coven of witches. When her friend disappears mysteriously, Suzy investigates the school’s mysteries.

What has not been said about a classic film like Suspiria? Director Dario Argento cares more about style and atmosphere than logic, but Suspiria’s powerful ambiance overwhelms its weak plotting. Every shot is composed to highlight the strange (and awesome) locations. The school is an art deco cathedral lit with vibrant color. In its confines, the vain ballerinas bicker cattily, and the faculty is always looming around the corner. From its first frame, the film’s sense of mystery and dread never abates, even during the gruesome murder scenes.

Suspiria’s striking soundtrack was co-composed by Argento.  The main theme has an unforgettable melody and unique instrumentation that shares the film’s distinctive sense of style.

Rating: 10/10 Shrunken Heads. Argento’s girlfriend Daria Nicolodi co-wrote Suspiria’s script. The story is allegedly based on a real school (attended by her grandmother) that was also run by witches. Suspiria was inspired by true events! Who would have thought?!


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