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5.0 out of 5 stars Whacked
Since I seem to be on an Italian horror kick, it's essential that I touch down on Dario Argento, and what better example than Suspiria. In the much shunned subgenre of Italian horror, Dario Argento is one director who actually won the critics over a time or two. You look on any top ten scary movie lists, you can bet Suspiria is on it. This film isn't really...
Published on March 31 2003 by Stanley Runk

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars Classic flim, bungled DVD
This has been my favorite horror film for the past 15 years, and I was SO excited to get this DVD. Yes, the picture quality was the best the movie has ever looked-- Razor-sharp picture and ultra-intense colors. However, anyone who is familiar with this film knows half of "Suspiria" is the incredible soundtrack by Goblin. On the old Magnum VHS/Image LD, the music was so...
Published on June 4 2003 by ChillOutBear


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4.0 out of 5 stars A visually stunning journey of horror, July 10 2003
By 
Ce commentaire est de: Suspiria (DVD)
"Suspiria," directed by Dario Argento, tells the story of a young American woman who goes to study at a ballet school in Europe. But a gruesome murder early in the film indicates that horror lurks behind the school's elegant facade. More horrors unfold before the true nature of the school is revealed.
I must admit that while a lot of hype seems to surround this film, I didn't find it to be as shocking or horrifying as I expected--perhaps the passage of time and my experience of more shocking films made after it has blunted its impact as a work of pure horror. For me the enduring power, pleasure, and importance of "Suspiria" lie in its blend of visual and musical style. Virtually every frame of the film--including the goriest and most violent scenes--is a lovingly crafted work of art. Set design, costumes, etc. all come together to enhance Argento's brilliant use of color, shadow, shapes, and visual motifs. At his best Argento creates an enchanting poetry of sadistic violence. This visual genius is marvelously enhanced by Goblin's creepy, bold musical score--it's music that at times relentlessly assaults the listener.
"Suspiria" has been given a lavish treatment in this 3-disc DVD edition, complete with a wonderful booklet about the film. Disc 2 contains a well-made documentary that commemorates the film's 25th anniversary. It features interviews with the film's stars (Jessica Harper, Stefania Casini, and the marvelous Udo Kier), director Argento, the musicians who created the unforgettable score, and other key behind-the-scenes creative talents. Disc 3 is a CD of the score. It's a total package that really enhanced my appreciation and enjoyment of this remarkable film.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Strangely Beautiful, Strangely Frustrating, June 30 2003
By 
Gary F. Taylor "GFT" (Biloxi, MS USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Ce commentaire est de: Suspiria (Widescreen) (DVD)
In 1977 SUSPIRIA was considered an extremely violent film; in the wake of the slasher genre, however, the violence involved seems less horrific than you might expect. What continues to work, however, is the look with which director Argento endows the film, particularly in regard to the set designs, camera set-ups, and use of color. Visually speaking, this is an amazingly beautiful film, with Art Nouveau designs, deceptively simple cinematography, and washes of intensely artificial color that dazzle with intensity. Even in the midst of its horrors it is almost impossible to take your eyes from the film, such is its strange beauty.
The cast is equally strange. Leads Jessica Harper and Stefania Casini are very typical of 1970s ingenues, but they each have a quality that sets them slightly apart from the young actresses of the time. Barbara Magnolfi makes an impression as Olga, one of the school's students, as does Susanna Javicoli as a harsh instructor. Even Udo Kier, cult star of Andy Warhol's FRANKENSTEIN and DRACULA puts in an appearance. But oddest of all is Hollywood's Joan Bennett, who gives a truly flawless turn as the seemingly lady-like and ultra-respectable Madame Blanc.
Less successful is the story itself, which is so slight as to be almost incidental. Young dancer Suzy Bannion (Jessica Harper) has enrolled in a famous Italian ballet school--and upon her arrival finds another student fleeing the school in hysterics, a student who is not long after murdered in a horrifically brutal way. Odd incidents follow, and when Suzy's classmate and friend Sara (Stefania Casini) goes missing, Suzy begins to piece together the truth.
Another flaw, at least to my mind, is the soundtrack. While it has been widely admired, I can think of few film soundtracks that are quite as heavy-handed in their dynamics as SUSPIRIA. That aside, and while the film has considerable creepiness, it isn't frightening per se. In the final analysis, this is a film which I think is best seen by cult connoisseurs--and even they are more likely to admire than to flatly like it. Recommended, but rent it first.
--GFT (Amazon.com Reviewer)--
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4.0 out of 5 stars If Luis Bunuel had directed a horror film . . ., June 14 2003
By A Customer
Ce commentaire est de: Suspiria (DVD)
. . . oh, but then, he did (*The Exterminating Angel*, *Los Olvidados*. Et cetera). Okay, if he had directed a GORY horror film, *Suspiria* would probably have been the one. Surreal in the extreme, director Dario Argento's movie eschews coherent plotting for sensorial assault. The result is a mixture of mind-blowing mastery and almost-laughable incompetence. The mind-blowing mastery part would include the entire opening sequence, with Jessica Harper's arrival in a Berlin airport radiating hallucinatory lighting and existential menace, followed by the baroquely photographed murder of a young woman who attends the ballet academy. The fate of the blind piano player at the academy, and the red-lit scene where the girls fearfully whisper to each other while a silhouetted figure behind a sheet makes beastly-sounding snoring noises, would also fall under this category. The almost-laughable incompetence parts would include stuff like the really lame episode involving a toy bat attached to a string. Generally, the bigger the scare that Argento goes for, the harder the movie falls on its face. The genius of *Suspiria* is in its dreamlike mood, largely aided and abetted by the architecture of the ballet academy itself -- surely one of the most triumphantly spooky sets in the history of horror films. And underneath it all is the classic score, enjoyable all by itself even without the film, by the Italian group Goblin. Therefore, considering the movie's overall strength while forgiving its moments of weakness, I recommend *Suspiria* without reservations, especially for the ladies out there: the movie was based, apparently, on a DREAM of Argento's then-wife, Daria Nicolodi. (This may explain why the film repeatedly comes up short in the plotting department: there's just no basis in reality, here.) It's a movie about women co-written by a woman on whose dream it's all based. Have fun, girls. [The limited-edition 3-disc set is very affordable, as far as limited-edition 3-disc sets go, so I guess I recommend that version. The 2nd disc is unnecessary -- the material on it is short enough to have fit quite comfortably onto Disc 1, especially when you consider that *Suspiria* is only a 90-minute film. The 3rd disc is a nice touch, however: the complete Goblin score. Also includes a dozen or so "lobby-card reproductions" that all non-collectors will probably put in the circular file.]
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3.0 out of 5 stars Classic flim, bungled DVD, June 4 2003
By 
ChillOutBear (Pittsburgh, PA) - See all my reviews
Ce commentaire est de: Suspiria (DVD)
This has been my favorite horror film for the past 15 years, and I was SO excited to get this DVD. Yes, the picture quality was the best the movie has ever looked-- Razor-sharp picture and ultra-intense colors. However, anyone who is familiar with this film knows half of "Suspiria" is the incredible soundtrack by Goblin. On the old Magnum VHS/Image LD, the music was so powerful. It really plunged you into the creeped-out atmosphere of the movie. But some fool at Anchor Bay decided to mix down the music! The opening taxicab ride through the storm originally had the main theme playing much louder, but on the DVD this music practically disappears into the background. Sound levels are inconsistant throughout- a ballet lesson by the Nazi-esque Miss Tanner is very loud, but the famous double murder at the beginning of the film is subdued to the point of losing much of it's impact! In effect, this movie has been practically castrated!
I'm glad the movie is available, I just wish that whoever did the sound mixing for the 5.1 would have done justice to the film's original sound design. I could have done without the faded and unspectacular lobby card reproductions too.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Excellent camera work, colours, great print ... ends there, May 5 2003
By 
Ce commentaire est de: Suspiria (Widescreen) (DVD)
Let's give credit where credit is due. Suspiria has beautiful colours, fantastic camera work, and a nice transfer. It ends there. The basic plot and appalling acting let the film down. As for the horror scenes - well, let's remember that it was made in 1977 and the horror scenes would have frightened audiences then - the R rating was fitting for the time. Times have changed, and audiences expect more of horror films.
DVD SUMMARY:
If you are like me, and heard so much about Suspiria, you will want to see it to satisfy your own curiosity. Aside from the bad points regarding the acting and plot, I am pleased to tell you that Anchor Bay have delivered a STUNNING print of this movie on DVD. It's so pristine that it's hard to believe it was filmed in 1977. Everything about the print deserves 10 out of 10. It should be reference for how to restore an old film. I have the Single Disc edition DVD, which is probably the best version to buy if you haven't seen the film. You still get the same version shown on the 3-disc, and some extras (but not the documentary), and also the DTS soundtrack.
Suspiria is a difficult DVD movie to find to rent, so if you are interested in seeing it, just buy the single edition DVD (it's cheaper). Despite the fact that I don't really love the movie, I am still glad to own it because of the camera work and colours - as well as the excellent DVD transfer. Nothing can quite prepare you for the incredible restoration work that Anchor Bay have done. Bravo Anchor Bay.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Rent then Buy!!!!, May 2 2003
By 
Ce commentaire est de: Suspiria (DVD)
Suspira has alot of happy memories for me from when i was a teenager and first discovering the enjoyment of a horror cinema. I first discovered Dario Argento when i got my mother to hire me the heavily cut VHS version that was only avalible in Australia, (the uncut version has only been avalible here for a short time). When i watch the film for the first time i was caught up with the visual contexts of the film and thought the story of a covern of witches at a school was wicked !!!
From there i went on to see all his other films of Dario and thought over time his direction seems to have got weaker. However, you know that your in for an interesting viewing if its directed by Dario.
Anyways, to my delight Suspira was released on DVD uncut and full of extras this year and i purchased it straight away. After 10 years i watched this film again and the following is based on this viewing not just happy horror memories from yester year.
I still believe that for Italian cinema in the 70's this was one of the best films. It is accessible to international audience due to its mixture of italian and english dialogue and actors. However, i did notice that the english over dubbing was over dramatic and made some tense scenes simply laughable.
Furthermore in the scene with the girl and the wire, (its not barbed people, i mean it just looks like what it , large amounts of un-barbed wire in circle formations), how she didnt see the wire before jumping in is beyound me. It nearly a fully lite room and the wire is only about a metre down from her postion. Its like seeing a shark fin in a tank and jumping in. This was my first real " oh for the love of god" moment of this film and made me question the creditabilty of the film somewhat.
Furthermore in the first murder how do we go from the girls room to the rooftop. There is no transion scene from point a to b to c. We just go from the room to the what i guess is just below the roof top as she falls through the centre of the window on the ceiling of the main foyer. It just didn't make sense and hurt any antipation or horror at the scene.
I mean when i watch a horror movie i have to be caught up in the atmosphere and the story so that my mind and body begin to tense up but when u are in this state and suddnely you get a muddled scene like this is just changes the mood instantely.
Apart from this though the film still held up to my adult eyes and i still really enjoyed the visual style to the movie. The best thing though to come from this movie though is the music. I believed when i was teenager and i still believe today that the chantting of ' witch witch witch' is damn spooky and the way in which the electronic tone increases as the movie goes on is effective, (however get a load of the guys that composed the track on one of the extras, what a joke !!!! the word SAD comes to mind).
Overall, the film is a piece of quality italian horror and if u classify yourself as a horror expect you will have already added this too your collect. If your new to it all u may just find it all a bit hokey as the next generation of horror shows how dated this film is. Horror, like everything changes, and what was impactful in the late 70's and early 80's just doesnt cut it with some of the more recent horror films avalible and the new generation who watch them but for a piece of classic horror history, intriguing storyline, (its not as bad as some reviewers have stated), the interesting and spooky sound track and the visual style of Dario, its a worthy purchase.
However, i recommend that if your not familar with it to rent first.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Whacked, March 31 2003
Ce commentaire est de: Suspiria (DVD)
Since I seem to be on an Italian horror kick, it's essential that I touch down on Dario Argento, and what better example than Suspiria. In the much shunned subgenre of Italian horror, Dario Argento is one director who actually won the critics over a time or two. You look on any top ten scary movie lists, you can bet Suspiria is on it. This film isn't really frightening-in fact most people think it's stupid and/or corny- but it's certainly original. The plot isn't much to brag about, this film is all about style. I've always thought you could make a movie about anything and make it interesting if you presented it correctly. Usually it's only the film snobs that pick up on the wild visual style Argento uses, but you certainly don't have to be a film snob to see it. Alot of the people I suggest this to usually think it's boring and silly. Granted these people aren't familiar with the genre and get scared to death by films like The House On Haunted Hill remake. Sure, Suspiria has it's parts that drag a bit, and the dubbing makes it sound corny(as usual), but all I can tell you is to view it with an open mind. Go into it understanding that the Italians make horror films different from American directors. And don't mistake different for dumb. Argento's movies are pretty whacked out(in fact, he's pretty whacked out, check out his documentaries), and not all of them are masterpieces, but he's really got vision. He's not a schlockmeister like his fellow countryman in Italian horror, Lucio Fulci(schlockmeister perhaps, but I love him to death), he's the kind of director that's likely to be studied in a film class. He doesn't go for the all out gore attack like Fulci, but Argento's violence is certainly not for the squeamish. The first murder scene in Suspiria is probably one of the most intense ever put on film. I'll guarantee you everyone in the room will stop what they're doing to see it! It may not have the Fulci gore, but it's got ten times more intensity. I've rarely seen music used to such a great effect. So, I'd definitely check this one out if you'd like to see Italian horror with an artsy edge. In fact, you should see Suspiria just to say you've seen it.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Dario's dream-like, horror masterpiece, Feb. 6 2003
By 
Keith W. Johnson (Summerville, SC United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Ce commentaire est de: Suspiria (Widescreen) (DVD)
If you've never seen a Dario Argento film and are curious as to why he has such a huge cult following, "Suspiria" is a great place to start finding out. The atmosphere Argento creates in the film fills you with such a sense of heavy dread, it's no wonder that he claims that this film and "Inferno" (an inferior but stylish follow-up) were exhausting to make. Most likely, he probably creeped himself out. "Suspiria" will make your skin crawl, even when nothing seems to be happening. Argento even makes falling rain seem disturbing. The film moves like a dream, and the Goblin soundtrack is haunting. This is the best, creepiest music I have ever heard in a horror film. The storyline is basic, as in most Argento films, and what moves the viewer is not the story (centering around a dancing-academy run by a coven of witches) but the style and dreamy-quality of Argento's directing. The gore is strong in this movie, so sensitive viewers beware. For any fan of good horror, this film is a must. If you've never seen Argento, now is a good time to start. And start with "Suspiria"!
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3.0 out of 5 stars Lotsa Sizzle With Little Steak....., Feb. 4 2003
By 
Daniel V. Reilly (Upstate New York, United States) - See all my reviews
Ce commentaire est de: Suspiria (DVD)
I've been hearing about Suspiria for years; I had seen it once, ages ago, on Cable, and didn't really think much of it. I dedided to buy this 3-disc set on the strength of the reviews here on Amazon, and the past quality of Anchor Bay's DVD line.
The package itself is gorgeous; The set includes a great booklet with a ton of information about the film, and a packet of 8 lobby card reproductions. Disc one is a restored, uncut version of Suspiria, and it looks absolutely stunning. The colors are crisp and vibrant, and the sound is spectacular. The story, however, is lacking. In fact, it's virtually non-existent.
The plot is reminiscent of a fairy-tale: An American student arrives at a German Ballet school, and strange murders ensue. That's pretty much it. The murders are gruesome, and the ending is intriguing, if somewhat abrupt. My overall feeling about the film was that the over-stylization was there to cover the total lack of coherent plot. There's a lot to look at, but in the end, what's the point? Disc one also includes Radio & TV spots, American & International trailers, Poster, Print Ad, and stills gallery, and a video of the Suspiria theme by Daemonia, which is REALLY gay. (I don't mean homosexual; I mean gay, like seeing guys in their 40's and 50's dressed up like goths...freaky stuff.) There's also a hidden outtake of the Udo Kier interview, which is pretty funny.
Disc 2 is the mostly sub-titled 25th Anniversary documentary, which has interviews with Director Dario Argento, Star Jessica Harper, and others. Some interesting stuff, but not nearly enough for 52 minutes. I didn't find any Easter Eggs on this Disc.
Disc 3 is the Suspiria score on CD; Their music is very unusual, and fits the movie well. It's a nice extra; The main theme has been stuck in my head for days. Unfortunately, there isn't a track listing, so I have no idea what the song titles are.
I don't feel cheated by Suspiria; The package and extras are so attractive that you more than get your money's worth. I just would have liked some steak to go with the sizzle....
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5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing film, great DVD, Jan. 11 2003
By A Customer
Ce commentaire est de: Suspiria (DVD)
Personally I liked Argento's Deep Red better than Suspiria, but Suspiria is still a landmark of horror and it goes with out saying that it's an absolute must for any fans of the genre. Anchor Bay's DVD had great A/V presentation, but I lament their inclusion of the soundtrack CD, as I think an isolated music track would have been preferable (how many times is the average person likely to listen to the cd anyway?). Some of the extras include a terrible music video (i have no idea why this was included) and a 52 minute documentary. A full 52 minutes may sound impressive but it does tend to drag on in spots and there is very little information to be garnered from it. It's worth a look at least once though, even if the soft white subtitles are a chore to read. You also get a nice booklet and a few lobby card reproductions.
Overall, this 3 disc set is a decent buy and is worth it if your a big fan of the film, but most fans will do fine with the standard edition. Dragon are releasing a version soon which has three discs also but instead of the documentary it includes the excellent 80 minute Dario Argento's world of horror doco. It might be worth your while waiting for that to come out. Still, kudos to Anchor Bay for finally giving this film the treatment it deserves.
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Suspiria
Suspiria by Dario Argento (DVD - 2002)
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