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31 Days of Horror Movies: Suspiria

There's really no easily cogent way to prep you for our 6th horror film of the month, so we're just going to dive right in....


I first saw this movie a few years ago, during the month of October, when the Art Theater here in Champaign was screening horror films every weekend leading-up to Halloween. This was during the same month that they screened Peter Jackson's chintzy classic Dead Alive (aka Braindead, more to come on that later in the month). Much like Jackson's quirky feature, Suspiria stood out among the month's offerings, though I'll be damned if I could make head or tail of it.

Ostensibly, Suspiria is about Suszy (Jessica Harper), a young ballet student who arrives at a ballet school in Germany, only to find out that it is run by witches. But Suspiria is so much more than its straightforward plot would suggest. It's kind of a trippy, haunted house-like experience, which much saturated color, quick scares, creeping unease, and an overall far-out vibe (no doubt helped by the soundtrack, produced by the band Goblin).

After viewing Suspiria, it made me want to seek out more films by director Dario Argento (especially the next two in his The Three Mothers trilogy). Alas, it has not yet occurred. Argento's style is definitely one you have to be in the mood for. It's not much of a pastiche of the horror movie genre. That makes it fairly unique and memorable, but also a tad inaccessible, depending on your frame of mind.


  1. I think of the three films in Argento's "series" I prefer Inferno. His films are definitely not what the general US horror movie audience expects.


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