Suspiria

Suspiria ★★★★

Jessica Harper is Suzy Bannion in Dario Argento's work of celluloid art, a film that feels so deep, so consuming and so very, very red. There's something indescribably eery about this film that is reinforced by calm and underexposed acting performances, a steadily pounding soundtrack and a colour palette that really presents a feeling of imminent danger.

Suzy arrives at her new German dance school excited at the prospect of new opportunities but immediately encounters a strange and frightening experience with a student, meets some rather peculiar people and finds herself in the midst of a set of strange and unusual events. Could it be witchcraft?

I watched the 2018 reimagining of Suspiria before this original version and in a way I'm pleased I did. People told me how this '77 version is better, but I'm not convinced to be honest. The films share some common threads of course, but I just found them to be entirely different in their execution and equally great in their own way. I reckon that's a really good thing, and testament to both the original screenplay and the skills of the 2018 crew, including some brilliant casting choices.

This first part of the "Three Mothers" trilogy is a well constructed, beautifully imagined film that deserves its place as a horror classic of its era.

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