on February 10, 2002
SUSPIRIA, which was directed by Italian horror master Dario Argento, is an unrecognized masterpiece. Many have not heard of it, and still some do not wish to see it. And some of those who have seen it do not particularly care for it because, as the film proceeds, the plot starts to make less and less sense, and they may even think it to be boring. But those of us who HAVE seen it, and liked it, realize what a masterpiece it really is. An opus of bright colors and imaginative set pieces, SUSPIRIA is a creative exercise in the horror genre.
While it may not be my favorite film, SUSPIRIA enhances the way you think about horror films. Suzy Banyon (Jessica Harper), a young American woman, has traveled to Italy to join a dance academy. As soon as she arrives, weird things start happening. When she arrives at the doors of the academy one dark and stormy night, a girl runs from the place screaming about something and is later found dead where she was staying that night. A rain of maggots falls upon the floor of the academy in which she is staying. She starts to get sick one day and collapses while she is dancing. Her friend disappears one night after mentioning something about witches.
It turns out that the dance academy is actually a witches coven- and that Suzy must find out what is happening and stop them before it is too late!
Even though you might not like SUSPIRIA, you have got to appreciate the work Dario Argento has done on this film. The magnificent colors that appear in the film are just enough to make you keep watching. Though it has, by many, not yet been discovered, it is truly one of the best Italian horror films ever produced. You are sure to be astounded.
Anchor Bay has done a great job on this one, as well as the limited edition- which has everything this edition has, as well as tons of poster replicas and cards, and an extra disc with interviews with the cast and crew of SUSPIRIA. Even if you cannot afford the limited edition (which is not altogether expensive anyway), you can still enjoy the regular edition, which has just enough extras to make you happy. The regular edition includes:
-Daemonia Music Video
-Poster and Still Gallery
-Languages: English; Italian; French
The DVD edition of SUSPIRIA is sure to be a prized one in your collection!
on February 9, 2002
I ended up receiving this DVD set for Christmas this year and was totally psyched. I had never seen the movie but other fans of the gore genre raved about it. So I watched it. "What?!?" I thought. This movie isn't that great at all. The blood is way too bright, it looks like paint and there's not nearly enough gore. I guess as a horror movie it's ok, but the script is still no better than most of these Italian flicks and the acting could definitely see some improvement. I agree with the other reviewer that gave this a negative review, the cinematography is the closest thing to a redeeming factor in the movie, but it's definitely not enough to make this worth purchasing. I take that back, the music video of the title track is also really great, it's got to be one of the funniest videos I've ever seen; (foriegn funny) I guess it's Goblin, but it flashes "Demonia" at the beginning and the guys look a little young to be the legendary composers of the 1970s/80s. I don't think the second disc could have fit on the first, but it is definitely expendable. The soundtrack is ok, but Goblin put out some better stuff in their days (Dawn of the Dead, (Zombi) Profondo Rosso, Phenomenon....) and, no, there is no track listing or liner notes for it. The DVD booklet is pretty thick and has some good points in interviews, etc, but I can't stress this enough: rent it. Better yet, use your money to buy something by Lucio Fulci, George Romero or Pete Jackson: Dead-Alive (funny, well-acted/scripted and without a doubt the goriest movie ever made) Zombie, The Beyond, Dawn of the Dead or Bad Taste. You can do better than this, so do it!
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 January 10, 2002
I don't like the violence - it is relentless, gory, blood soaked - from noses and mouths the blood oozes, makes you want to puke or laugh - nothing in-between. Bloody Italians? Bloody Seventies slasher flicks I say. Accept it for what it is. I don't like the dubbing either but with the sound turned up (as it should be with this film) its not so bad. And I'm not mad on the ending. But how can you end a film like this? Let David Lynch remake it I say.
I loved the claustrophobic sets, the eerie lighting, the colours, the predatory move of the camera, the logic of the story which is the logic of a nightmare, that little Bambi creature in the lead with her big eyes that twitch and look around nervously when her friend whispers warnings to her in the dark but what is the big deal?, the scenes that slowly build with a nursery rhyme soundtrack that becomes some sort of creepy european rock, they go on and on and on it makes no sense but that's the beauty of it.
The modern day horror spoofs that are supposed to be funny but are more predictable than the films they are trying to parody and not half as frightening are only made because there is no-one around nowadays capable of making a proper horror film, like Suspiria. Well maybe David Lynch. For some reason I would still like to see him remake it.
on January 9, 2002
Called the "Italian Hitchcock," Dario Argento has made some of the most memorable films I've ever seen. "Suspiria" is widely praised as his masterpiece, and it is a masterpiece in certain ways. It is full of all the things a horror film should have: Good shocks, an eerie musical score, exquisite lighting, and effective camera moves. Any director who's ever made a horror film knows that the camera has to become like the third character in a scene where two people are talking, and the music is the fourth. Creepy music and precise visuals make a horror film memorable. "Suspiria" has both, although the dubbed over dialogue (I still don't get why he does this, even if it is to avoid working with boom mics, having them drop into frame on accident or something) can get your bad attention, and the acting is somewhat subpar for the most part. But as a rule, horror films have never thrived on excellent performances ("Carrie" is an exception), so it doesn't truly matter. We have our final girl, who we care about, and the school that makes as an excellent backdrop for the film's terror.
The film centers around a dancer who has enrolled in a school of dancing somewhere in Italy probably. It is in the middle of nowhere, surrounded by woods for what could be miles or merely a few hundred yards. Jessica Harper is our final girl and she fills the role nicely, using her wide eyes and girl next door looks to capture our sympathy as things happen to her. When she finds out that the school is actually a front for a witch's coven, all hell breaks loose, and she may be the only one with the brains and the information to end it all. That's pretty much it. There are too many surprises to really say much more. The film begins almost immediately, letting characterization come along for the ride instead of wasting a half hour of valuable time on introductions to all the dancers and teachers at the school.
The real stars of the film are the music and cinematography, which when combined make a truly atmospheric and freaky experience. Dario Argento's personal Goblin group composed the music for "Suspiria" and they are in their highest form. Their score is equally compelling and wicked. Argento's camerawork is some of the best he's done, using his lighting to fill in the gaps of what could have been a boring scene. It's a real joy to watch a film like this which takes so much delight in scaring the wits out of you. Argento has real style, and it shows.
on December 11, 2001
I know all the reviews are saying that this movie is a great horror movie....but it is AWFUL, and me calling it awful is being nice. I love horror movies and i wanted to find a good horror movie to get. So i saw these reviews and figured that this movie must be great, but i was dreadfully wrong. PLEASE do not get this movie, or atleast rent it first to see how bad it is.
I bought it and i was excited to watch it, but i literally ended up fast-fowarding through so many parts....and NOT because it was sooo scary. I cant even get everything i want to say about this movie out because i dont have enough room to write it. Basically, everything that anyone looks for in a movie is horrible in Suspiria....EVERYTHING.
I watch every movie i buy, rent, or see thinking that the movie is gonna be good. And i wont call a movie bad unless it is really bad....i mean i even thought "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret of The Ooze" was good. And if i thought that was good, just try and imagine how bad this movie really is. BAD BAD BAD BAD BAD movie. I want to write more about how bad this movie is, but it is like i am speechless. I have never seen such garbage.
on December 7, 2001
I bought the collector's DVD of this movie a few weeks ago and I actually returned it to the place that I bought it that same day! I had heard so much about Dario Argento and how wonderful this movie was, so I didn't hesitate to buy it on DVD, regardless of the price; I was sure that it was worth it. I took it home, watched the entire movie, and was gravely dissapointed. My fiancee was actually asleep by mid-movie! I am a huge fan of Lucio Fulci and Mario Bava. I expected this movie to be all out in the gore department, having heard so much about the dog attack scene and the "most violent murder scene ever." To me, it was really lacking in gore, especially because it is so highly ranked on everyone's "must see" list; right up there with "Zombie" and "The Beyond." Granted, I really did enjoy the razor wire scene. And, I was really impressed with the over all plot and story line. Bottom Line: If you're like me and you love all out guts and gore, do not buy this movie! But if you are more into dramatic story lines, and a "Hitchcock" style, you'll enjoy this movie!
on November 18, 2001
I first saw Suspiria a few years ago as a VHS rental but I couldn't remember too much about it. But suddenly, the world of Italian horror has been broken wide open so I picked up this three disk limited edition. Watching Suspiria is sort of like dreaming awake. Colored lighting is used to great effect and the sound track just sort of lulls one into submission. The plot makes about as much sense as a dream, that is to say, the movie all makes sense while watching but looses cohesion quickly once one returns to the "real" world. I think that is why I only remember watching the VHS rental but not too much of the movie.
The three disc set includes a newly made documentary and a Goblin soundtrack from the movie. The documentary suffers from subtitles that are sometimes washed out against a light background. Otherwise, it is informative. The Goblin CD is a lot fun to listen to and I find myself humming the main theme all the time. Unfortunately, I do not find a listing for the names of the songs. The main disk also includes trailers and radio spots and a Goblin music video of Demonia, which appears to be the main theme song.
on November 18, 2001
Dario Argento's Suspiria is one of those truly must-own DVDs for anyone with a remote interest in the horror and suspense genres. After several viewings I have decided it is one of my favorite films; beautifully photographed with an emphasis on eerie primary colors, and looking like it was filmed last year rather than back in 1977, it is further enhanced by Goblin's ultra-creepy score which also sounds fresh and not dated in the least. While the acting is only average (save the lead, Jessica Harper, who has some of the most beautiful eyes I've ever seen), and the story does at times seem slightly hackneyed, it has just the right amount of gore to please gorehounds while not alienating fans of more "mainstream" fare. I could go on all day about the director's emphasis on style as a way to enhance mood; Hitchcock would surely have approved. Suffice it to say that Suspiria has instantly become the crown jewel of my collection. Put it on and have your friends try to guess what year it was made. I now know I will spend part of my birthday money buying other selections from the Dario Argento collection.
on November 10, 2001
Stunningly photographed and outlandishly set-designed, SUSPIRIA has an opulence and elegance that you don't normally find in a slasher horror film. Its predominately female cast and a virtual lack of sex and nudity are also quite unusual in films of this type. Yes, it does have a few horrific murder scenes that would have gotten the film an X rating (this Anchor Bay DVD is unrated and uncut). But the majority of the film takes the "high road" in horror film-making -- rather than drenching you with blood and guts and wall-to-wall violence, it stirs up creepy atmosphere, builds up suspense, and punctuates them with shocks that are created with originality and brilliance.
The DVD's THX-certified video transfer is SUPER, with sharp picture, rich colors, and fine details. The Dolby Digital and DTS English surround soundtracks are clean and strong, but channel separations are sometimes quirky. There are no subtitles of any language. But it does have English closed captioning.
Anchor Bay released 60,000 copies of the 3-disc Limited Edition, which includes a second DVD of a new 52-minute documentary, and a music CD of the movie's music soundtrack. The documentary is essentially a collection of interviews of the cast and crew, who talk about the conception of the film ("Snow White" was an inspiration), the score, the style of the film, and their favorite scenes and anecdotes. The first disc contains the other extras: 2 trailers, 3 radio spots, 1 TV spot, about 100 stills, a music video of the movie's theme music performed by Daemonia, and bios of the director, writer, and star. There is also a 30-page DVD booklet containing an essay on the film and an interview with star Jessica Harper. Also included are replicas of eight of the production stills.