HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Perfect 10
Octaman
Red Penguins
China Syndrome, The
Babyteeth
Round-Up, The
Around the Sun
Once There Was Brasilia
Peripheral
Dead Pigeon on Beethoven Street
Ice
She Demons
Good Girls, The
Hail, Hero!
Faces in the Crowd
Tamango
Traitor, The
Tomorrow
Third Generation, The
Saxon Charm, The
Spy Intervention
Moonrise
Mulan
Killer with a Thousand Eyes, The
Vigil, The
Liberation of L.B. Jones, The
Wizard of Baghdad, The
Ride
Good Manners
Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo
Sweet Home
Big Score, The
Siddhartha
Three Outlaw Samurai
Echoes of Fear
Guinea Pig, The
Truth, The
Good Die Young, The
Old Guard, The
Gumnaam
   
 
Newest Articles
Network On Air: Nights in with ABC 2 - Your Faces are All Blurred!
Eve Knew Her Apples: The Lady Eve on Blu-ray
Network On Air: Tempo - Gallery One
Network On Air: Nights In with ABC 1 - Welcome Once Again to Manchester!
Transformative Apocalypses: Phase IV and Southland Tales
The Happiest Days of Their Lives: The Guinea Pig on Blu-ray
Faced Poe: Three Edgar Allan Poe Adaptations Starring Bela Lugosi on Blu-ray
Hard Luck, Buster: The Cameraman on Blu-ray
At the Hop: Mr. Vampire on Blu-ray
Divine Madness: Female Trouble on Blu-ray
Country Matters: Further Out of Town on Blu-ray
Bat-Damn: Was Joel Schumacher's Batman Really That Bad?
The Beat Goes On: Takeshi Kitano Collection on Blu-ray
Dream Treats: Scorsese Shorts on Blu-ray
It's Only Money: Laughter in Paradise on Blu-ray
A Regular Terpsichore: Dance, Girl, Dance on Blu-ray
Teenage Trauma: Baby Love on Blu-ray
The Happening: Pet Shop Boys It Couldn't Happen Here on Blu-ray
Who Watched The Watchmen?
The Golden Age of Colonic Irrigation: Monty Python Series 4 on Blu-ray
Lady of Pleasure: Lola Montes on Blu-ray
Take You to the Gay Bar: Funeral Parade of Roses on Blu-ray
Hit for Ms: Mark Cousins' Women Make Film on Blu-ray
Look Sinister: The 1000 Eyes of Dr. Mabuse on Blu-ray
Star Wars Triple Threat: The Tricky Third Prequel and Sequel
   
 
  Suspiria The Height Of The Scream
Year: 1977
Director: Dario Argento
Stars: Jessica Harper, Stefania Casini, Flavio Bucci, Miguel Bosé, Barbara Magnolfi, Susanna Javicoli, Eva Axén, Rudolf Schündler, Udo Kier, Alida Valli, Joan Bennett, Margherita Horowitz, Jacopo Mariani, Fulvio Mingozzi, Franca Scagnetti, Renato Scarpa
Genre: HorrorBuy from Amazon
Rating:  9 (from 2 votes)
Review: Suzy Bannion (Jessica Harper) arrives in Germany to attend a ballet school, but as she walks out of the airport carrying her suitcases she is hit by a fierce storm: tain't a fit night out for man nor beast. She also has trouble attracting the attention of a taxi, eventually having to stand in the middle of the road to flag one down, and when she does the driver won't help her with her luggage. After telling him where to take her, they travel through the darkness with little conversation until they reach the school, but as they pull up at the front door Suzy sees a girl yelling something then rushing out into the storm - what could it mean?

This being a Dario Argento film, you can bet Suzy won't catch on to this scene's significance until ten minutes before the end, but as ever, that's part of the delirium that here worked towards the Italian auteur's most accomplished work. The first part of his Three Mothers trilogy which continued with Inferno and belatedly ended with Mother of Tears, it's all here: the bright colours, the blaring music, the stylish murders and the plot that does not entirely add up, but that won't be apparent until after the film is over.

If there is a horror film that has the logic of a dream, then Suspiria above all is the one that plunges the viewer into the fabric of a nightmare; even if you don't find it scary then an atmosphere thick with dread is hard to shake. Although Suzy is at the mercy of a coven of witches, after it's all over you cannot be really sure of what they were up to as Argento never allows us to be privy to their plans. All we know is that they are evil incarnate and the victimised, delicate Suzy will have to destroy them or be destroyed herself as the bodies pile up around her.

The first of those bodies is the girl who Suzy witnessed shouting into the night, and she ends up murdered, hanging from a stained glass ceiling, inadvertently killing a girl below trying to find her who has been struck down by shards and pieces of timber. In the real world, this would be enough to have the school closed down, but this is the unreal world and lessons continue as Suzy attempts to fit in, only to pass out on her first morning and the doctor is called. The reason she is to be feared by the villains is never clearer than she is the one who turns detective, but her roommate Sara (Stefania Casini) does the same and she is despatched pretty conclusively in a room full of barbed wire.

Why keep a room full of barbed wire? So the bad guys can kill someone off in it, apparently, and it's this breathless insanity that informs the whole film. There are experts on hand to tell Suzy what is going on, one of them being Udo Kier, but they merely fill in background about witches and don't explain why, for example, it was necessary to kill the blind pianist by having his throat ripped out by his own guide dog. However, while this would be a flaw in more rational movies, here Argento and his co-writer Daria Nicolodi (also his partner at the time) conjure a sense of letting us see small parts of a far bigger picture, so there always seems to be much more going on than we can grasp. Visually, you are watching a master of his art, and his work with his musical collaborator Goblin ensures this is one loud film. The tagline for the American release was "The only thing more terrifying than the last 12 minutes of this film are the first 80", which makes it sound as if the thrills tail off a bit for the finale, but rest assured Suspiria is feverishly exciting right up to the final shot.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 3777 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 

Dario Argento  (1940 - )

Italian horror maestro who began his film career as a critic, before moving into the world of screenwriting, collaborating most notably with Sergio Leone and Bernardo Bertolucci on the script of Leone's Once Upon A Time In The West (1968). Argento's first film as director, The Bird with the Crystal Plumage (1970) set the template for much of his subsequent work - inventive camerawork, sly wit, violent murder set-pieces, and a convoluted whodunnit murder plot. He perfected his art in this genre with Deep Red in 1975, before proceeding to direct the terrifying Suspiria (1977) and Inferno (1980), the first two parts of a loose trilogy of supernatural chillers that were finally completed with Mother of Tears in 2007.

Since then, Argento has pretty much stuck to what he knows best, sometimes successfully with Tenebrae and Opera, sometimes, usually in the latter half of his career, less so (Trauma, Sleepless, Dracula), but always with a sense of malicious style.

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star is the best at shouting?
Arnold Schwarzenegger
Brian Blessed
Tiffany Haddish
Steve Carell
Olivia Colman
Captain Caveman
Sylvester Stallone
Gerard Butler
Samuel L. Jackson
Bipasha Basu
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Darren Jones
Paul Smith
Andrew Pragasam
  Lee Fiveash
  Mick Stewart
Enoch Sneed
  Dsfgsdfg Dsgdsgsdg
   

 

Last Updated: