September 26, 2016 Movie Of The Week
Italian horror maestro Dario Argento’s bewitching magnum opus Suspiria is one of the most atmospheric horror films ever made. Beautiful and bloody in equal measure, this one is required viewing for any die hard horror fan.
Suspiria tells the story of Suzy, an American ballet student who has just arrived in Germany to attend a prestigious school of dance, which… well, let’s just say the place isn’t quite what it seems. As her classmates begin to disappear one by one, Suzy must unravel the mysteries of just what diabolical deeds are occurring at the so called Tanz Dance Academy. It’s a slow burn that may seem a bit dated to some modern fans, sure, but when things boil over in the third act Suspiria delivers on its reputation and then some.
That being said, the real star of Suspiria isn’t the story. It’s the aesthetic. Full of shocking colors, unnatural patterns, and bizarre sets, the look of Suspiria has as much character as any of its actual characters. The Tanz Academy seems almost to live and breathe; its ornate decorum and eerie lighting, ever shifting from pinkish red to somber blue, give the school an ethereal, vaguely nightmarish quality that looms large over every scene, constantly reminding the viewer that something just isn’t right here. And believe me, it isn’t.
Accompanying the visual majesty of Suspiria is its fantastic musical score, one of the all time best in horror’s vast history of awesome scores, provided by the prog rock band Goblin. The score, especially its incredible title theme, sets the mood so beyond perfectly that it feels silly to describe it to you. Just listen for yourself. I’d throw that one up there with the Halloween and Friday the 13th themes of the world any day of the week. It gets under your skin and gives you the creeps in the best possible ways and I love it so much.
Honestly, that same line sums up Suspiria perfectly. It just has this wonderful way of getting under your skin and creeping you out. And what more can a horror fan ask for than that?