Like Horror on acid!
Directed By: Dario Argentno (Deep Red,Inferno,Tenebre)
Oh yes, the infamous Susperia! The horror movie that came out in 1977 and has since been given cult classic status by many of the die hard horror fans. After being told “You can’t call yourself a true horror fan until you’ve seen Suspiria”, by a geek on the net, I decided if it was THAT good then hell, why not buy it? The director, Dario Argentno, had been ahead of the curve on style way before this movie came out in the 70’s. And up until this movie, Dario was pretty much known for more giallo type films but his stylish and over the top (for the 70’s) style of which he’d kill off the people in his movies, had lead him to be accepted into the horror fan base with open arms.
A young American dancer travels to Europe to join a famous ballet school. As she arrives, the camera turns to another young woman, who appears to be fleeing from the school. She returns to her apartment where she is gruesomely murdered by a hideous creature. Meanwhile, the young American is trying to settle in at the ballet school, but hears strange noises and is troubled by bizarre occurrences. She eventually discovers that the school is merely a front for a much more sinister organization.
Well one thing about Argento, he sure knows how to make everything look even more overwhelming than it really is. I got to give the man kudos for the overall feel of the movie, as his use of colors stand out to give the film an odd feeling from the get go. Then again, how can a movie about a young American dancer who travels to Europe to join a famous ballet school, only to find out things are more sinister than they appear be not give out an odd vibe? Want proof of what I’m taking about here? Well take the rain scene that opens the movie as an example. Dario, makes it look as if we are in the middle of a freakin’ typhoon! The movie gets right into the first kill pretty quickly, which by the way is pretty hardcore even for the year 2008 so right away I’m think OH SHIT!! This is going to be awesome!!! Then we slooooooow down..I mean really we go from what is probably one of the most outrageous and extreme death scenes I’ve ever seen to well..a slow story.
Don’t get me wrong, in between the slow build and the movie’s surrounding, that make you think your watching a bad acid trip, there is some pretty neat stuff here. There is a barbed-wire scene that made me hurt from the moment it started to the moment it ended, but I got a bit bored in between the good stuff here. Perhaps that is just my fault? I’m part of a generation that is use to a “boom! boom! boom!” style of today’s horror films, where things get going quickly going and stay at some heating point. With Suspiria, we’re going to get some useless dialog, scenes, ect. in between the good stuff. But thank the Jesus for the film’s music score, which sounds pretty freaky and really cool.
Which btw, I really want to point out how disappointing it was at one point in the movie where there is a scene I’ll just call “The dog scene” (In order to not spoil anything). I know this was 1977 but that could have been shot way way better. I mean how do you go from the awesome opening kill scene to the dog scene that looked like something cheesy from C level 70’s horror? Perhaps they spent too much money on the acid trip looking colors and the BRIGHT BRIGHT red blood that they just had to use what they had? Either way it’s the worst thing I found about the movie besides the slow moving plot.
The movie’s ending (which I won’t give away) landed a bit flat with me. I got the whole, “they have a movie with an OK idea yet they don’t know how to end it” feeling. But that is not to say that its soo bad you won’t somewhat enjoy the film. Its just saying I don’t think Argento had too strong of a clue how to end his own movie. But I’ll let him slide none the less just because I liked the first kill of the movie soo much (does that make me sound sick?) and I liked the film and it’s vibe for the most part. However, I must say that I think a lot of the troubles these girls in the movie face could have been avoided had they just minded their own business..Perhaps that is a hidden point of the film?
Well folks, I’d check it out just to be able to say you’ve seen it. The movie has had a pretty big effect on the world. There is even bands that have names based off this movie. And the film’s musical score is pretty good to say the least. I find the odd BRIGHT red color something different. I’m not sure what the man used for it but it did stand out (I’d find out later he uses this type blood in all his movies its a trademark of sorts). All in all I’ll give it an above average score with it’s only real fault being due to the slow moving story. Still, there is some rather extreme stuff here for 1977 and the setting of which it all takes place looks like a Disney movie on drugs. So if you have time, give it a look.
The Rating: (7/10)