Suspiria (1977)

81.

★★★

Directed by: Dario Argento
Written by: Dario Argento , Daria Nicolodi
Starring: Jessica Harper, Stefania Casini and Flavio Bucci

Dario Argento’s Suspiria may not be as frightening for modern audiences as it was back in the late ’70s. As a young ballet student from New York arrives at a European dance academy where the teachers are witches, and the students have creepy angular bodies that look particularly freaky under stress, Argento deals a horror movie that is more visually appealing than anything else. There’s no point trying to find logic, or even follow a story – the colors, lights, and wicked score by Goblin are enough.

Are we there yet?

The most interesting and exciting thing about Argento’s visual style in Suspiria can be seen in the director’s manipulation of space through the use of lighting, color, and all sorts of decorative additions (including velvety wallpaper and stained glass windows). Turning wide open courtyards into nerve-wracking spaces, and opening up secret trapdoors that look like something straight out of a Grimm’s fairytale,Suspiriataps into a fear that seems more closely related to a child’s experience of the horror genre – relying purely on the visually absurd and strange to unsettle and surprise.

 

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