Suspiria (1977)

Ever since Juno raved about Dario Argento, I have been dying to see Suspiria. It’s been at the top of my watch list for years. With the remake coming out, I knew there had to be a theater somewhere in the area showing the original. I was right. Thank you Arclight Hollywood.

A young ballerina goes to a new school in Europe and weird things start happening there. That’s the basic premise. It’s pretty simple. What’s not simple is the elements of terror.

This film is a full assault on the senses, hearing in particular. As soon as the film started, there was this intensely creepy score, blasting at full volume. That alone was unsettling. As the film went on, the score would be layered with other sounds. It started with some everyday sound effects that were heightened to a new level of horror, but as it progressed, it started adding weird voices and dissonance. Yup, getting scared now.

It’s also a visual assult. The colors are so bright and jarring. Then there’s the blood. A gore fiend like me loved the thick and lush red flowing everywhere. Even without the blood, the imagery was just disturbing.

Truly, this is a horror masterpiece on so many levels. It was worth waiting for to get to see it in full scale on the big screen. There were certainly moments where I felt terror, which is a rarity for me.

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