Suspiria [1977]

“Bad luck isn’t brought by broken mirrors, but by broken minds.”

Director : Dario Argento

Writer : Dario Argento, Daria Nicolodi, Thomas De Quincey – book “Suspiria de Profundis”, uncredited

Cast : Jessica Harper, Stefania Casini, Barbara Magnolfi, Alida Valli, Joan Bennett

Story : Suzy Bannion is a young american who just arrived in Germany to study in a fancy ballet academy. As she gets out of the taxi in the pouring rain a seemingly mad girl leaves the building in panic spitting random words to the rain or maybe to someone inside. But when Suzy tries to enter the building, someone wouldn’t let her in saying she doesn’t know who she is and they were not expecting Suzy at all and that she should just leave. She does so, and goes back the other day and she is welcomed by the principle, the teachers and classmates, no one knowing who she had talked yesterday. Suzy also finds out the girl she saw last night was brutally murdered, and as spends more time living in the school she begins to suspect that something sinister is going on behind the curtains.

What I Liked :

– two murder scene, the first one was amazing, it is outdated that’s for sure, but somehow still had a great impact on me; the other one involving the blind pianist was scary, didn’t expect at all to happen it the way it did

– nice use of shadows – especially the scene where all the girls sleep together in a big hall

– use of colors: red, green, blue – interesting just didn’t see the connection between the colors and what was happening in a scene, except in one scene where everything is blue and when the girl gets attacked for a moment all becomes red then goes back to blue

– amazing music, it was the best part of the movie

– the movie feels like a nightmare, including the style, the incoherence and the fluidity of colors

– gothic feel

– there are some truly beautiful shots – such as the swimming pool scene

What I Didn’t Like :

– too much screaming, I think 1/3 of the movie only contained screams, annoying ones

– not the best acting I ever saw

–  well pretty stupid, especially the ending, just stupid, the way she could see Elene, just plain stupid, I know I said stupid too many times but it is just how stupid it was

– superficial story – beauty over substance

– felt like a joke sometimes

– it is kitsch, one of the best words to describe it

– it’s not a good movie, but it isn’t bad either, it’s a so-so movie, you’ll either love it or hate it

Final Note :

2 out of 4

Interesting Facts :

– Argento later said that he modeled the look of the film directly on Walt Disney’s “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs” – color scheme

– this is Joan Bennett’s last feature film

– Director Dario Argento composed the creepy music with the band Goblin and played it at full blast on set to unnerve the actors and elicit a truly scared performance (imdb)

– The woman playing Helena Markos is not credited, according to Jessica Harper, the woman was a 90 year old ex-hooker Argento found on the streets of Rome (imdb)

– Dario Argento was inspired to make this film by stories of Daria Nicolodi’s grandmother, who claimed to have fled from a German music academy because witchcraft was being secretly practiced there

Trailer :



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