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Jessica Harper , Stefania Casini , Dario Argento    R (Restricted)   DVD
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (272 customer reviews)

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Outside of devoted cult audiences, many Americans have yet to discover the extremely stylish, relentlessly terrifying Italian horror genre, or the films of its talented virtuoso, Dario Argento. Suspiria, part one of a still-uncompleted trilogy (the luminously empty Inferno was the second), is considered his masterpiece by Argento devotees but also doubles as a perfect starting point for those unfamiliar with the director or his genre. The convoluted plot follows an American dancer (Jessica Harper) from her arrival at a European ballet school to her discovery that it's actually a witches coven; but, really, don't worry about that too much. Argento makes narrative subservient to technique, preferring instead to assault the senses and nervous system with mood, atmosphere, illusory gore, garish set production, a menacing camera, and perhaps the creepiest score ever created for a movie. It's essentially a series of effectively unsettling set pieces--a raging storm that Harper should have taken for an omen, and a blind man attacked by his own dog are just two examples--strung together on a skeleton structure. But once you've seen it, you'll never forget it. --Dave McCoy

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Suspiria (Three Disc Limited Ed

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars moody, looks great but not scary Oct. 30 2009
I bought this on the advice of a friend who collects this genre and he said it was a "must have".

First of all, except for one scene near the end of the flick there was nothing scary about this film. I admit that the film industry and our threshold has changed since Susperia was made so I can let that go for the most part.

The mood created by the film is excellent imo. It's camera angles, lighting and music are all very well done and what sets this film apart from much lesser movies. The plot is thin and the acting is wooden with the exception of a couple of characters portrayed. There are some gruesome scenes but they are more or less easy to take. I can easily imagine they would have grossed out and scared the hell out of viwers when it first came out.

I liked the film and can see the significance of it in the history of the this genre.

Only for true fans of this type of movie.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
By Blade
Okay, to all those fans of the Italian horror genre (or 'giallo' films as some would call them) I'd like to say that I am a longtime fan of horror movies and am also new to the Italian horror genre. I'd have to say as strange as it is, "Suspiria" (1977) was actually the first one to get me into the Italian horror films. Considering that I personally do NOT like any of Lucio Fulci's work (e.g. "Zombie") Dario Argento is quite better and the atmosphere of his movies are a lot better to draw you into.
Jessica Harper (a very talented actress indeed!) plays the heroine, Suzy Banyon, a young female American ballet dancer who attends a German dance school run by the mysterious Madame Blanc and Miss Tannr (given eerily performances by Joan Bennett & Alida Valli) From there, all hell breaks loose as horrific "accidental" deaths occur as many individuals are picked off one by one by an unseen supernatural entity. There are numerous secret passageways in the school (my favorite being the rose painting on the wall), a cruel and sharply grotesque hanging scene, a flesh eating dog, & many other shocking surprises which await as Suzy must discover the school's true revelation before it's too late!
This 3 disk set is in its WIDESCREEN Presentation(2.35:1) & is enhanced for 16x9 T.V. sets. It also includes the theatrical trailer (including T.V. spots), radio spots, a Daemonia music video, poster and still galleries, and talent bios. The third disk is the soundtrack of the film performed by the Italian rock group, Goblin and is definately one of the creepiest scores I've ever heard in a film.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Kcin's review of Suspiria July 9 2004
I suck at introductions so I'm not even gonna try. This movie is very good. I like it. If you are interested in Horror cinema or just visually intriguing films in general you need to check this out. All right then, on with the specifics.
The plot is easily summarized. Suzy Bannion is an American ballet student in Germany. There a bad goings-ons at the academy and she must investigate and defeat the evil to survive blah blah blah. None of that really matters. Even the staunchest defenders of this film often admit that the plot/script/dialogue are not particularly inspired, and frequently kinda lame. I tend to agree with this belief, but as I said before, it doesn't really matter. However, contrary to what many people say, I didn't find this film to be the least bit confusing. I'll admit that not necessarily everything that occurs makes a whole lot of sense, and that some things are shown which are not terribly vital to the plot, but it's hardly difficult to follow. The acting isn't so great either, with the protagonists coming off a bit flat much of the time, and the antagonists overdoing it, particularly the whacky Miss Tanner, whose got a weird female concentration camp commandant thing going on.(or maybe I'm thinking of Madame Blanc, I get the names confused. If you see it you'll know who I'm talking about.) Still, it's a masterpiece visually.
When people talk about this movie they almost invariably describe it as being nightmareish. I don't really care for this description, because it exaggerates the surreality of the film. Visually, it isn't hyper-abnormal, it's really just surreal enough to seem just beyond the bounds of reality, so that nothing in the film seems quite real.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic horror film finally on bluray but... April 11 2014
Format:Blu-ray|Verified Purchase
I love this movie but unfortunately the disc will not play on any bluray in Canada. Too bad...it is one of my favorite horror films.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars its okay May 19 2013
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I got my package quite late, a week later than I was supposed to. Also,m due to lame packaging the dvd was squished and one of the discs was loose inside the new dvd, that was pretty lame.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Look of Horror July 5 2004
I could of probably lived without 10 over-the-top seconds of "Suspiria." Those 10 seconds are graphic to the point of porn. No doubt Argento fans would say that such scenes are what make Argento Argento. Whatever. That said, this is a really good movie with a terrific look. Argento's use of colors and architecture to establish mood (dread) is simply astounding. I have to believe Kubrick borrowed from Argento, heavily, in his making of "The Shining." I almost didn't finish watching "Suspiria" due to a graphic murder in the beginning. What kept me hanging in there was the stylish way Argento was framing his scenes. Hairy and taloned arms appearing out of the dark, a haunting run through the woods, wild and/or garish art deco interiors that have you thinking Jack the Ripper picked out the colors and patterns, and a building that looks like it was designed in Hell.
The plot? It's ok. Not as weak as some have suggested, but it does have holes - holes you don't spend much time pondering, since it's your eyes and ears Argento is after. Acting? Almost seems beside the point. You have your various grotesque characters, some with very big teeth, doing evil things. Jessica Harper is, however, very good as the waif-like ballet student. Her physical slightness, her big eyes, all contribute to the impression that she is surrounded by monstrous horror. How will she escape? Watch and see. The soundtrack, especially if you have surround sound, is effective and eerie. Lots of evil whisperings and other ominous sounds jump from unexpected directions. So the makers of the dvd are also to be applauded. It's as crisp a picture as you can imagine. (Guess Argento wanted those "reds" to really show.)
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Most recent customer reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars It wasn't what I was told it was
I wanted an occult thriller - this isn't that. If you want a very old-fashioned banal horror movie, this will be great for a laugh. Read more
Published 8 months ago by Steve Dent
1.0 out of 5 stars REALLY??????
I bought this film and was terribly dissapointed. This film was so dated. It was not creepy, nor scary, actually it was quite amusing to watch. The acting was so bad. Read more
Published 11 months ago by Joe R
4.0 out of 5 stars This man loves the color RED and he puts it on heavy
Watching the American trailer to this made me laugh especially when the background speaker whispers the title to this film. For all I can see this film is not about plot... Read more
Published on Oct. 26 2007 by Jenny J.J.I.
4.0 out of 5 stars Indefinable
I gaved that movie 4 stars because it's stylish. I don't remember seeing a movie like that one before. Read more
Published on Oct. 4 2006 by Eric Simard
4.0 out of 5 stars Fourth film by Argento viewed.
Becoming more and more fimilar with the world of Dario Argento, I decided to watch Suspiria. The opening scene was brilliant. Music composed by Goblin suited this film well. Read more
Published on Oct. 23 2004 by Jeremy Matthew Brown
4.0 out of 5 stars Yikes!
Suspiria was made a long time ago, in film terms, anyway. Yet it still seems modern, despite being very stylized. This film is unmistakably European and decidedly scary. Read more
Published on June 8 2004 by Ryan Wilkes
5.0 out of 5 stars Suspiria
Suspiria is an amazingly artsy and entertaining movie.Dario Argento does a fantastic job.The Goblin made a wonderful soundtrack that was suspenseful and added to the movie... Read more
Published on June 3 2004 by Mac
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