Dario Argento

WEIRDO’WEEN #28: Suspiria [1977]

weirdoween2015As we near the end of weirdo’ween, I figured it was time to talk about a certain movie that I actually had a difficult time finding on DVD, until a friend of mine ordered it for me from the video store where he work[ed]. [He actually writes sci-fi, video games, and comic book reviews; as well as personal posts. read his stuff! He doesn’t post as often anymore though, sadly] It’s a colorful movie about a girl [named Suzy] who moves to a fancy ballet academy to learn all sorts of new dance moves [I mean, that’s what a ballet school is for, right?] only to gradually realize that the school is nothing but a front for something far more evil and supernatural; where a series of grisly murders have – and are – taking place in the academy’s very walls. When it was released on DVD, back in 2002, it was actually nominated for best Classic Film Release, but unfortunately didn’t win.. Which is unfortunate, because this film can only be described as: a masterpiece. It’s colorful, the music by Goblin is mesmerizing, and the atmosphere will draw you in. Well, friends; let’s go to school at the Ballet Academy and uncover the truth behind the murders in: Suspiria!

weirdo'ween-#28Given its cult status in the movie-making world, [partially due to the extreme uses of colors] the colors in Suspiria gives it an artful feeling that makes the movie beautiful to experience. Director Argento uses different shades of blues, greens, reds, and yellows each in their own unique way to show us different emotions. Using the old technicolor technique that was used in 1950s films such as Alice In Wonderland, gives this movie a magical, and fairy tale like appearance.

In the first 20 minutes of screen time, Dario Argento builds up suspense and tension in a way that is usually reserved for the climax of a film. We’re shown the main character and the story of the entire film are built up in a really well played out sort of way. When we see Suzy [our main character] inside a taxi cab, it gives a feeling of claustrophobia and dread. Dread, that you know is only the beginning. The images and music played in the opening moments add a high level of suspense, adding to the film’s pounding intensity.

The double murder sequence is one of the most bloody scenes in modern horror films. [which the DVD boasts] It’s a scene that still keeps its shock value after all this time. This single scene makes any murder scene in a teen horror film today look tame; though, that’s not difficult to achieve. The murder of the first victim is extremely violent, is done in first perspective and yet; it feels like it’s stylishly filmed. Feeling like an almost art piece. The tagline to the movie reads, “The Only Thing More Terrifying Than The Last 12 Minutes Of This Film Are The First 92.” and while I’m not really sure what that’s supposed to mean, it seems that they are implying the end is boring compared to the rest of the film. Actually, the whole movie is great!: some parts are slower, and there is a lot of character development, but this is not a bad thing.

Speaking of the murder scenes – as you can tell during the movie – the Director wanted to make them feel so intense, that the horror wouldn’t let up. It’s clear that he wanted to create scenes of fear that would be carried by visuals and ear pounding music. On doing these murder scenes, Argento has said “Fear is a 370 degree centigrade body temperature. With Suspiria I wanted 400 degrees.” The death sequences are one of the main reasons this film has such a special place within the genre.  The first girl being dragged through a window, stabbed repeatedly, and then hung after she was already dead..and for quite some time, too! In the most simplistic of terms, Suspiria is a story about witches, but you’d probably be having trouble to tell, and to find the imagery that comes to mind when you hear the word “witch.” There are no pointy hats, broom riding, black cauldrons, or even stake burnings in this movie, instead we’re given a more modern take on the popular archetypes of one of Halloween’s favorite characters; such as magic, and evil looking [and acting] women.

Overall, Suspiria stands out among the best of its form for it’s intensity of the experience of watching – and hearing – it. From beginning to end, this is a nightmarish, hallucinatory world filled with grotesque murders, a blaring score and beautiful and artistic imagery. It’s a true horror film and a huge achievement in cinema. It was way ahead of it’s time, proving that it’s deserving of all the praise and love you hear people giving it..So if you haven’t experienced it, you deserve, and owe, it to yourself. Though it might be harder and harder to find these days, as I said above – I had to ask a friend to order it for me. Though, maybe I’m just really bad at finding cult horror films on home video.

By the way, If you have an idea for the next weirdo’ween review[s], please let me know which movie[s] you’d like to see next! If you found yourself to enjoy this particular review – and want to see more – then take a minute and follow me over on my Facebook page [it’s at over 125+ likes almost at 130!] By clicking that “like” button, you’ll see every post from warrenisweird the very moment it’s been posted online; as well as links to articles and pictures/videos that will not be featured here on the blog. Every “like” helps me a ton, giving me the ability to write more posts for you to read, so be sure to tell the horror enthusiast in your life to do the same, and share The Facebook Page with your family and friends! Join me tomorrow when I talk about weirdo’ween #29! – so be sure to STAY TUNED!

this STILL creeps me out..