For Reel

Suspiria (1977)
October 27, 2014, 7:17 pm
Filed under: Reviews | Tags: , ,

Director: Dario Argento
4 Stars
SuspiriaHow could Suspiria not preserve its reputation as the quintessential Italian horror film and one of the most memorable genre pictures of the latter half of the 20th century? As forgettable and familiar as the plot is, as humorous as the lazy dialogue and poor dubbing gets, it’s nearly two hours of unadulterated stylistic excess. The insistence on primary colors, the overbearing score by the Italian prog-rock band Goblin, the brutality and beauty of the deaths. Gimmicks are paraded in every shot–even the “down” periods are rendered memorable by the disorienting wide-angle lenses and radical shifts in color. This very style might be counter-productive to the genre–viewers are more in awe than terrified, eager to see the next orgy of color rather than fearing what might be around the corner. A montage of Suspiria’s best scenes would give close to the same effect as sitting through the whole movie, and yet the distinctiveness of its visual pleasures are resilient to any cynic’s attempt at defamation.

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