aaron’s review published on Letterboxd:
I once read that names which begin with the letter 'S' are the names of SNAKES!
I spent so long looking for English subtitles just to realise I already had it dubbed in English...
Anyways, so this film had me completely dazed. I happen to be a fan of visually beautiful movies and if I had to say one thing about this film I would highlight how stunning it is. From the very first frame Suspiria weeps colour. Neon blues, purples, greens and the red which was probably the most prominent colour. Whilst the lighting in the film was gorgeous in itself, it also lent the film a feeling of constant panic. The red in particular triggering violent flashes of warning and danger. I've heard that some animals are often beautifully coloured to warn predators of their poison, which is what the flashes of colour felt like in Suspiria. Beautiful, but dangerous.
Aiding the lighting were elaborate, visually appealing sets and an extremely memorable musical score. The elaborate sets in Suspiria, bathed in an almost fluorescent red/pink paint, gifted the film with a perfectly pieced nightmare. Whether wandering down the staircase during the day or running through the hallways at night, the sets felt both overbearing and claustrophobic. Adding to this was the perfect music score by Goblin, which was easily one of the most memorable aspects of the film. The soft eerie music box theme was terrifying enough without the demonic like whispering that seeps into the mix. There are spots in the score where it just sounds like quiet screaming and... nope. I'm telling you, if I heard this in the middle of the night I would start running.
I was impressed by the gore in this film quite a bit. The blood in Suspiria is this bright red, almost pink, colour which looks a lot like fresh paint. The clearly fake nature of it might lead you to believe it would be an issue. Apparently not, as it just seemed to add further onto the film's disquieting, unhinged, nature. Whilst I wouldn't say the film is 'scary', almost every death is both brutal and memorable. There's a few where I actually winced a little bit. Just when you think the scene is finished, and that the film would cut away, it continues for just a little bit longer. It got to the point where I would almost compare Suspiria to a brightly coloured slasher movie. In essence, it is.
One thing I found extremely interesting about the film, which I didn't know going in, was the way it was recorded. Apparently, a lot of older Italian movies were filmed almost silently, with dialogue dubbed in afterwards. This way, the actors could all speak their native languages as they would be dubbed over either way. This felt particularly relevant as it was the only thing that didn't fully gel with me. Voices often felt out of place and, at times, a bit wooden. This was only really an issue in the beginning of the film, as I managed to get used to it rather quickly. Still, performances were the only thing that didn't quite stick out to me, at least not our protagonist or her friends. That being said, I think the teachers and school staff were acted well, with confidence and secrecy.
The plot of the film wasn't the most fleshed out or interesting, however, it worked perfectly as a framework to build off a frightening experience of a film. That's what I'd describe Suspiria as, an experience. A colourful, abstract, alarming experience. All of this being said, I really liked Suspiria. My main reason continues to be the visuals. When a movie has visuals that are both aesthetically pleasing to me, and memorable, I often hold it in high regard. I'm a sucker for style over substance films, which I wouldn't necessarily say this is an example of, but nonetheless, even if the film made sense I wouldn't mind. I hope, with all my heart, the future of horror movies with this type of visual aesthetic because I adore it.
I'm interested to see what the beige-looking remake has to offer.
100 Horror Movies in 92 Days