Sunday, November 10, 2013

Suspiria

This is one of the few classic horror movies that I have not had the chance to see up until a few days ago. I have seen a few of Dario Argento's newer movies but have never gotten the chance to see any of his older works. Suspiria has been universally hailed as one of the greatest horror movies ever filmed, as well as one of the scariest. It is kind of hard to see if you don't own a physical copy of it, seeing as it is not available to stream on any of the major streaming websites such as Netflix or Amazon. This week I picked up a DVD copy of it and sat down and watched it as soon as it was delivered to me in the mail.

Suspiria is the tale of a young American ballerina, Suzy Bannion, who is going to a prestigious ballet academy in Germany. She arrives in the middle of a volatile storm and sees a young woman in a panic fleeing from the school. That night, the young woman that Suzie saw flee the school, is killed in her friend's apartment. Strange occurrences begin going on in the school and soon more deaths begin to occur. Suzy's friend, Sarah, has a theory about what is going on and tries to get Suzy to go along with her theories. Are all of these occurrences a coincidence, or is there another force at work?

This movie is a complete assault on the sense, and it is magnificent to witness. The bright colors, over the top deaths, and the score, combine to create one of the most unique horror movie of all time. I can see how people could be on either side of the love it or hate it scale. The story may not make sense to everyone and you have to realize that it is not the primary strength of the movie. The strength of the movie is the way that it involves all of your different senses, so it is more of a style over substance situation. I appreciated the story because it didn't treat any of the characters as dumb, as so many horror movies do. Most of the characters in the movie are students concerned with their dance careers, so they really don't concern themselves with the strange things that happen.Another thing that I loved was that the main character learns along the way and thankfully never does anything overtly dumb.

The kill scenes are brutal and very limited in number, when a death is happening on screen there is no doubt about what is going on. The first death is one of the most memorable scene from any horror movie and shows how crazy Dario Argento was willing to go with the deaths in this movie. Argento does use kills like other directors today do, for quantity to appease the masses. He shows every kill as an up close and personal act and it makes the deaths more brutal and you actually feel slightly uncomfortable witnessing the killings. One death involves a room full of barb wire and a throat slitting, and it was one of the most graphic deaths I have ever seen in a movie.

Goblin isn't really the first word that comes to mind when thinking about awesome music, but the band Goblin kills it with the score that they created for this movie. The score is creepy, atmospheric, and infinitely re-playable. The use of the score throughout the movie adds dread and even foreshadows major events in the plot. If your score can enhance the dread and add to the viewer's immersion into the movie, it is a resounding success. Even if you are not interested in seeing this movie, you should at least check out the score to the movie. It easily ranks with the best movie scores of all time. Goblin also created the score for the movie, Zombie, and has influenced the scores of dozens of movies. The latest movie that its influence was seen in was The Lords of Salem, which borrows heavily from it.

VERDICT

Suspiria is a fantastic horror movie that prides itself on assaulting all of your senses. Dario Argento is a master of the horror genre, who created one of the most revered movies that the genre has to offer. If you are a horror fan, you need to see this movie. There is no other way to put it, this is simply a classic. If you want to see this movie, you are probably going to have to buy it or torrent it. Just keep in mind that this movie is worth it.