Argento presents a bold visual style, tension-grabbing scenes and an eerie score in one of the final technicolour films of the 20th century. Suspiria is the story of an American ballet student, Suzy Bannion (Jessica Harper), arriving to Tanz Dance Academy in Freiberg, Germany. From the start, Suzy feels suspicious. After all, she was welcomed to the school with a hysteric girl escaping and a closed door to her face. After several haunting, gory, and horrific events, Suzy soon finds out, from Dr. Frank Mandel (Udo Kier, famous for his role in Andy Warhol’s Frankenstein), that the school is actually a coven parading as a ballet academy, riddled with witches who are recruiting dancers to become one of their own.
One of the most prominent features, and most celebrated, is the film score created by Italian rock band Goblin. The sound plays as a dark, hypnotic fairy tale which coincides with the plot perfectly.
Each set is designed beautifully, as an almost dreamland, filled with colourful and decorative interiors. A style reminiscent of what we now more familiarly recognize as Lynchian. Although most of what happens between those walls almost certainly turns that dreamland very quickly into a nightmarish vision. From the red, pink and white geometric reception room to the room covered in garish blue wallpaper, in the end, you like Suzy, will feel trapped in this house which feels entirely like a haunted house at a fun fair.
Luca Guadagnino (director of I Am Love (2009) and Call Me by Your Name (2017)) is set to release an homage to the film, under the same name, in 2018, starring Tilda Swinton, Dakota Johnson, Chloë Grace Moretz and Mia Goth.
director DARIO ARGENTO
director of photography LUCIANO TOVOLI
cast JESSICA HARPER, STEFANIA CASINI, FLAVIO BUCCI, MIGUEL BOSÉ and ALIDA VALLI
words PRIYESH PATEL
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