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Suspiria (1977)

Updated on May 17, 2017
Dario Argento (The director of the film)
Dario Argento (The director of the film)

For starters...

Suspiria is an Italian film released in 1977 and directed by Dario Argento. The screenplay was written by Argento and Daria Nicolodi. Screenplay was based on Thomas De Quincey's essay, Suspiria de profundis which was first published in 1845.

For the leading role, Argento chose the Jessica Harper, who was in the leading cast in De Palma's cult film Phantom of the Paradise. This work is the first film of the trilogy Argento refers to as "The Three Mothers", followed by Inferno (1980) and The Mother of Tears (2007).

Music was written by Goblin and Argento. This could take a whole chapter so we are going to talk about it later. Additionally, we have to praise the director of photography, Luciano Tovoli, who was excellent by shooting all these colorful frames.

Film's running time is 98 minutes. A 98-minute film full of horror and colors.... It's going to mark your life... eternally... So be prepared...

A famous scene from the film
A famous scene from the film

Synopsis

The plot is pretty simple. But the ideas and the imagination of the director made this film really deep and scary. An American girl travels to Europe to attend dancing lessons in a famous German Academy. The building was the house of a witch named Markos.

Our hero tries to solve a murder of other students but by searching deeper and deeper she will discover the truth. The last 10-minute of the film is something you won't forget easily... I don't want to reveal more details. You don't need to be "spoiled"...

The Music (of Horror)

Argento and the Goblin band made an excellent work. Many horror's themes were inspired by this one. Carpenter himself had admitted that Halloween theme was lightly based on this theme...

Argento had visited Greece the summer before making this film and he was so surprised by a Greek instrument which is named "bouzouki". He said that bouzouki's sound could be pretty evil. And the Goblin band made it sound so very much evil! If you listen to the theme, you will understand why...

I still can hear the terrifying cries of the song. Oh... that's creepy. But you'll figure this out by yourself...





A few words...

Because of the Luca Guadagnino's remake which is going to be released in 2017, I felt like watching the film again... And I really felt what I felt the first time. This film can be seen multiple times without being tedious.

From the beginning of the film you are going to see the director's strange mood. Everything is red and blue. Watch how unusually red the airport is... I think I kinda like ti! By watching it you will see one of the cleverest and most interesting directing works in horror genre...

The film's pace is wonderful. It goes how it is supposed to go... Nothing more nothing less. Argento was very sure about this work. This is why he released a sequel three years later... Everything was done methodically!

In his mind this work wasn't finished so in 2007 he completed his trilogy by releasing The Mother of Tears.

Suspiria
has become one of Argento's most successful feature films. It has received critical acclaim for its visual and stylistic flair, use of vibrant colors and its soundtrack. It was nominated for two Saturn Awards.

It has since become a cult classic, and is considered as an influential film in the horror genre.

The Whale House in Germany was used as the Dance Academy in the film.
The Whale House in Germany was used as the Dance Academy in the film.

Trivia

  • It is usually assumed that, to achieve the rich color palette, the film was shot using the outdated three-strip Technicolor process. This is not true. No film made after the mid-'50s was shot using this method.
  • According to Daria Nicolodi (the co-writer and director's giirlfriend) the lead role in the film was written for her, but the studio insisted that an American actress be cast for the lead to make the film more marketable.
  • The film is set in Freiburg, Germany. In the English dub, the narrator mispronounces it as Fribourg, a different town in Switzerland. Despite this setting, location filming was done in Munich, and several Munich landmarks are visible in the film.
  • For the shots of the "maggots" which were falling from the ceiling, the crew was dropping grains of rice down onto the actresses from above.
  • The woman who performed Helna Markos was not credited. According to Harper, she was a 90-year-old ex-prostitute who Argento found on the streets of Rome.

Have you seen any Italian horror film...?

Which one is the best Italian horror film?

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The Quotes (of Horror)

- Dr. Frank Mandel: Bad luck isn't brought by broken mirrors, but by broken minds.

- Sarah: Susie, do you know anything about... witches?

- Madame Blanc: We must get rid of that bitch of an American girl. Vanish! She must vanish! Make her disappear! Understand? Vanish, she must vanish. She must die! Die! Die! Helena, give me power. Sickness! Sickness! Away with her! Away with trouble. Death, death, death!

The Prologue

I am not a huge fan of horror films so I watched this film as an admirer of the cinema. And it was quite a good experience.

The directing of Argento was just wonderful! Maybe one day I am going to be bored of watching it but I wouldn't be bored of watching his tricks and techniques.

It's for sure one of the best horror films I have ever seen. As I said I am not a huge fan but I have seen lots of them... And I suggest watching it, regardless of your favorite genres...

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