on March 24, 2002
Dario Argento's film Suspiria is one of his better films. However this is not a very good film. As with most Argento fare there is plenty of blood and gore to keep some fans happy, but the rest of us just keep saying "Get on with it." After reading about how scary and shocking this movie was I decided to borrow it from a friend and watch it.
The plot surrounds an American dancer who attends a European ballet school only to find out that it seems to be a witch's coven. However by the time Argento gets around to the point I had lost intrest in the film. Dario Argento has long been respected by horror fans for his movie making and directing. This reviewer can't understand why people fimd this man so good. Dario Argento is not the worst director (That honor goes to the Italian director Lucio Fulci, see Zombie review) but he makes a strong case at times. This is a slow moving movie that show's that with enough stage blood and FX anyone can be considered brilliant. Some of Argento's film have not been as bad like Phenomena, however his debut with The Bird With the Crystal Plumage shows that he may just be good at thowing blood around. A real good friend has almost all of his films and I have seen quite a few of them. I am a big fan of horror and I will watch anything that looks interesting, that is why I have seen his movies. Dario needs to go remember that under all the blood there is still a movie to be watched. Argento and Fulci are one and the same. Both use too much blood (most likely to make up for there lack of talent) and are very sucsessful at there craft. I will say one thing for the both of them. They are out there making there movies and making a living at it by following there dreams, but remember the same can also be said for Ed Wood.
on January 21, 2002
This has the Goblin soundtrack which I once bought for the first track, despite it's exhorbitant price. Bit much for six minutes but then it's a very addictive six minutes. Sinister "Na-na-na-nah, you're going to die" sort of playground thing in the background. Suddenly it goes bananas and someone starts yelling "WHICH!" Which what? I wish you'd be more pacific. No, that's an ocean. I mean, specific. That's what listening to dodgy Italian dub jobs does to you.
Can anyone get past the first ten of this film? That's minutes, not bodies. I've seen that and a bit at the end. I managed to get past the first murder the other night only to see Jessica Harper do the most ridiculous faint in a ballet class ever put on film. Actually, there can't be that many Oscar winning ones, either.
Dario Argento, the director, dismisses objections to his treatment of women in his films and insists on being the hand that stabs. I think he's a coward who won't take responsibility for the climate of fear that women have to live in today. Ah, you say, but what about all the woman in this film who are willing to be portrayed as carved meat? If they have no qualms about betraying their sex, then why should Argento? Well, I just don't want to talk about it anymore. *Sigh* yet another public humiliation.
on November 10, 2001
DO NOT BE INFLUENCED BY THE HYPE! Trust me.........
The movie appears to have good direction, but where it was being directed I don't know. The story line is not so bad, however the suspense is just NOT there. I admit I jumped once (in the begining) but that was all. I even fell asleep!! AND when I woke up, I realized I didn't miss much. To make matters worse, when the opportunity for suspense finally occurs, the movie ends abruptly (A MAJOR LETDOWN). I would compare this movie with the late 70's tv flick "Satan's School for Girls". So if you liked that, you will like this. If you did, chances are Charlie Browns The Great Pumpkin gives you nightmares and only then can I understand the positive reviews for Suspiria. I like horror, but this movie didn't have it. It had a great score, great set design, even the filming was good, but in comparing to great classic horror films, such as Psycho, Halloween, The Excorcist, it is NOT near the classic the other reviewers lead you to believe. Do I regret seeing it? No. Do I regret buying it? Yeah. If you HAVE to buy it, buy the VHS at [dollar amount]!!
on October 12, 2001
In a short essay which accompanies Anchor Bay's special three-disc edition of Dario Argento's "Suspiria" (1976), Travis Crawford offers the following observation: "For the small minority who may be experiencing the full-throttle sensory assault of Dario Argento's...horror masterpiece 'Suspiria' for the first time...I envy your innocence." As it turns out, Travis' envy is wholly misplaced. It breaks my heart to say it, but Anchor Bay's disc - prepared under the auspices of Lucasfilm's much-vaunted THX program - is one of the biggest disappointments in the short history of DVD.
Of the four soundtracks on the disc which I was able to access through my my 5.1 audio equipment (I'm not DTS-equipped), only the French version - in lowly 2.0 surround - has anything like the kind of sonic impact which Argento originally intended. Several layers of music on all the others, including the Dolby Digital EX track, have been mixed so low that they might just as well not be there at all! Crank up the audio as much as you like, but it won't make a blind bit of difference...
My main point of reference has always been the (in)famous double-assault which takes place near the beginning of the film, one of the most genuinely frightening set-pieces in movie history. But much of the scene's effectiveness depends heavily on Goblin's deafening music score, which adds electric guitars (I'm assuming that's what they are) to a soundtrack filled with drums and screaming vocals. Here, several vital musical elements sound like they're buried under tons of cotton wool, completely diluting the overall effect. Just LISTEN to the difference in the French version, where the soundtrack has a depth and clarity which explodes out of your speakers like the Crack of Doom! But even this sounds a little muffled beside the old Image laserdisc (released in the late 1980s), which featured a -literally! - room-shaking surround track, providing a level of reference that Anchor Bay's DVD doesn't even begin to approach. Strangely, AB's disc is also missing a number of significant music cues, sound effects and (apparently) some stray lines of dialogue which all appeared in the laserdisc edition.
Two things add insult to injury: First, the DVD's picture quality is ABSOLUTELY SUPERB - Anchor Bay has delivered an utterly stunning print of the film, and the Technovision frame is perfectly preserved on this anamorphic (2.35:1) disc. Secondly, there are dozens of reviews all over the Internet which praise the DVD's soundtrack for its strength and vitality, presumably written by people who are largely unfamiliar with the way it SHOULD sound. Frankly, their enthusiasm is completely baffling! Listening to the old laserdisc over this DVD is akin to having an obstruction suddenly removed from your ears - the difference is obvious and immediate. Perhaps the DTS version is better, I don't know, but the Dolby tracks are extremely poor and should never have been allowed onto the disc in this condition. What on earth were the guys at THX listening to when they approved this appalling travesty?!
Simply put, this disc represents only half the movie that Dario Argento intended you to experience. And if you ARE seeing the film for the first time and you think it sounds OK - believe me, you ain't heard nothing yet!
on February 2, 2000
It's a gruesome witch-tale set in an European ballet school told in a wild visual style and strikingly beautiful sets, and bloody explicit (and genuinely frightening) murder scenes. Jessica Harper is the most beliveable actress in the film but I think the obvious dubbing of some of the other voices ruins the performances of the other girls. I'm not sure why the dubbing was done (the lips match so they ARE speaking English) but I suspect it may have been done because the accents were too thick. The dialogue is often dumb but this film is a work of art and a real treat for those who can appreciate Argento's brilliant style. Beware of older prints that were cut for American distribution. I once attended a showing of this film at the Chicago Art Institute in which Dario Argento himself appeared in person to talk about his films. Embarrassingly, the film had been one of those butchered prints. The current video releases are intact and in wide- screen. Although I could do without the hokey narrative at the very beginning while the opening credits are rolling--it sounds really stupid and it is NOT needed. This is even present on the current prints and I wonder if it was what Dario had intended. Enjoy!
on February 6, 2002
Plain and simple -- I bought this DVD because every review raves about its atmospheric, frightening presence on screen.
This movie is NOT scary. It's stupid. The plot is dumb, the acting poor, and the ending is so weak I sat stunned in my chair. Way too much dialogue, red herrings throughout the film, and rock music that adds NOTHING to the overall feel of the film.
I admit the camera work is artistic, but that's the only good thing I can say about this over-rated, simple film.
If it was that good, it would hold a better place in film history.
P.S. Blood isn't orange..it's crimson. Fake, fake, fake. Don't buy this DVD..rent it first.
Scary to me is disturbing social matter and evil. This film doesn't even come close.
on July 16, 2003
Does all of you wrote good reviews to not regret your purchase? What a dumb director! I have seen all Argentos movies and any of them has the merit to be a good film.
Don't get me wrong: As an artist and 3 years in cinema studies I have About 200 horror DVDs in my collection and love 80% of them.
Yes the colors, lightning blah blah blah but Booooring! Sloww pace and actors dance, and speak, and walk and speak and go on... Mr Argento has forgotten something: A movie is to be seen not to be told! It's not a book it's a movie... There is just about 15 minutes in the whole thing that it worth seeing and each of these minutes are really great and that's why my 2 stars are for. Prepare a pillow for over an hour.
on March 30, 2000
I was fooled by the hype into believing that this was a film every true horror fan should own...don't believe it. This film is more likely to be enjoyed by "art house" cinema enthusiasts than your general Horror audience. The movie is shot with unusual colours which are supposed to add to the movies eeriness, but in my opinion, take away any sense of realism. The plot is reasonable but not enough is made of it; rather than having a climatic ending which the film appears be slowly drifting towards you are left somewhat dissapointed by a cheap effect.
I would only reccommend this film to those who are interested in artistic visuals or Argento fans. Otherwise I doubt if you'll appreciate it.
on June 21, 2002
and FLUNKS! I haven't seen acting this bad outside of a porn film. The plot is laughably lifted from many other films and held together by, well, nothing. It's no wonder Jessica Harper has disappeared. And Joan Bennet's performance makes her turn on Dark Shadows look award-worthy. Really!
Visually, it's wild to look at ... kind of like a whorehouse in Querelle or a Ken Russell daydream. Otherwise it does not have much going for it. The soundtrack is effectively creepy - but if you have a home theater system, be warned: it is LOUD.
And scary ... Not At All. The only frightening thing is the bizarre adoration some people have for this movie.
Artsy for those who haven't seen any real art films.
on March 18, 2000
Visually the film is quite good. The plot however is quite thin and the acting pretty unexciting. The music had an uncanny tendency to annoy. The plot has little going on, the film could have been shot in 30 mins as a short film and would probably have worked better for it!
I can't honestly see why this film gets the rave reviews it does, belive me there are a lot better films of this type out there. Again this film gets a mention as a cult film frequently, but just why it falls into that classification is again a mystery, as mysterious as Argento's use of red, green and blue lighting.
If this is Argento's "masterpeice" I'm afraid I won't be trying any others.