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.Read more ›
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.Read more ›
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.)