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5.0 out of 5 stars Dario Argento�s Most Recognized Work
Suspiria definitely grew on me since I didn't like it after the first viewing. After a second and third time though, I came around because I realized just how influential this film must have been. You can watch movies like Suspiria and Phantasm and think about all the other movies that were influenced by these early genre films. I went into Suspiria thinking the actors...
Published on Aug. 30 2002

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars Caps and Heels and Hair ........
There's just something about this movie that causes you to focus:-
[a] On the footwear - especially Jessica Harper's towering and totterting moments in the rain at the Airport; and
[b] Alida Valli's 'sensible clogs' - they rival the Lotte Lenya mules in 'From Russia with Love'.
[c] NOW about the hair - was the Oldman "Dracula" inspired by Valli's...
Published on Aug. 13 2002


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2.0 out of 5 stars Foolish and Boring..., March 24 2002
By 
scott belba (auburn mass USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Suspiria (VHS Tape)
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.
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4.0 out of 5 stars I was a little apprehensive at first, but I liked it!, March 19 2002
This review is from: Suspiria (Widescreen) (DVD)
I really feel that most of the horror movies out there are garbage. Modern horror, in particular, is so formulaic (slapstick comedy mixed with gore) and predictable it is amazing they even draw an audience. As a genre it has a ton of potential and some of my favorite films fall into this category: Jaws, The Shining, Alien, The Vanishing (Spoorloos), etc. However, for every good horror film there are a 100 mediocre to awful films that shouldn't have even been made. What is lacking in these films is the cerebral and atmospheric elements that are the essence of fear. I guess this is what attracted me to "Suspiria." I always heard a lot about this film and Argento's reputation. It sounded like something that I would like, but Argento's notoriety for gore put me off seeing it. If used appropriately gore doesn't bother me, but I am no way a "gore fiend." I assumed that "Suspiria" would just be the gratuitous gore-fest that ruins so many titles in the horror genre. But itching for something different and creepy I finally bit the bullet and watched it. I must say I was very pleased. The plot is very loose. I've read that many people think the plot is non-existent, but I think the plot is pretty clear (pay attention to the last scene and then rewatch the beginning). Though it is not super intricate, it is satisfying. But where "Suspiria" is really effective is in its imagery and use of sound. It is extremely atmospheric and hallucinatory; almost like a dream. There are many scenes where the girls are simply walking down the hallways, and every time it is creepy as hell. The use of light and primary colors are particularly effective. As far as the gore goes, yes there are a few very discomforting scenes. However, by today's standards they are pretty tame. In fact, I would say that the 'X-files' have more graphic scenes then what is in "Suspiria." If you want to laugh and have a shock around every corner like in "Scream," "Suspiria" is probably not the film for you. But if you want to sit back, turn off your mind and get [pulled] into a bizarre, haunted, moody dream, "Suspiria" may be just the film your looking for. I'm glad I picked it up.
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5.0 out of 5 stars It all seems so absurd, fantastic!, March 2 2002
By 
This review is from: Suspiria (VHS Tape)
Narration from Suspiria: "Suzy Banyon decided to perfect her ballet studies at the most famous school for dancing in Europe. She chose the celebrated Tamm Academy of Freiborg. One day, at nine in the morning, she left Kennedy Airport, New York, and arrived in Germany at 10:40 PM, local time."
So begins a journey that the American girl would never have anticipated in her wildest dreams. A student, Patty Newman, is seen leaving the in the pouring rain scared... That is nothing compared to the gruesome manner of her death at her girlfriend's flat. It ends with the painted ceiling glass bulging out and shattering towards the foyer, followed by Patty's garrotted, bloody body crashing downward from a worm's eye view. Exquisite! Bulging is also used in Inferno when the body of Mark's fellow student crashes down in front of him.
Suzy is the only likeable character here. She is pretty, shy, humble, but most important of all, she is intelligent and intuitive, which helps her during her stay. And Jessica Harper makes her a credible unique person the viewer roots for.
Alida Valli is also effective as the forbidding Miss Tanner, a typical supervisor-type Guardian. 1940's star Joan Bennett (Madame Blanc) is a more tempered Guardian, but nevertheless gives the presence that she is in charge. I don't know who plays the fat piggy-eyed servant. The character, who plays a semi-important role here, seems to have been raised on ugly pills all her life.
This movie if anything, is representative of Dario Argento's wild use of lights. Red and blue are the key colours here. The exterior of the academy is red, as are the carpeted panels in the hallways. My favorite use of red is when the girls are in the practice hall, converted to a makeshift dormitory. The hall is bathed in a hellish red glare. The shape of the directress behind Suzy and Sarah is nothing compared to the guttural, asthmatic snores emanating from that mysterious personage. Creepy with a capital creep! Red is also the colour of blood, and there is a lot of that here, as well as the wine Suzy has to drink during her restricted diet.
Blue light is seen when Ms. Tanner marches up the attic to find out where the maggots are coming from. The creatures fall down through ceiling cracks and into dorm rooms, causing mass hysteria among the girls. Suzy freaks out, but that's nothing compared to the reaction of the other girls. Pandemonium, to say the least. The way Argento stages their emergence is unexpected and gradual.
And Goblin's wild and weird score of screams, insanely pounding drums, guitars, echoing hisses of "witch" and of course sighs (Suspiria is Italian for sigh) might as well mirror Argento's perverse mind.
Suspiria is more a triumph of design and suspense rather than logic (e.g. why kill Daniel the pianist?), and it's important to remember that in order to enjoy this stunning film. American and British horror have nothing on this masterpiece!
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4.0 out of 5 stars SUSPIRIA is an unrecognized masterpiece!, Feb. 10 2002
By 
Ryan Clark (Pittsburgh, PA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Suspiria (Widescreen) (DVD)
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:
-Widescreen Presentation
-Theatrical Trailers
-TV Spot
-Radio Spots
-Daemonia Music Video
-Poster and Still Gallery
-Talent Bios
-Languages: English; Italian; French
The DVD edition of SUSPIRIA is sure to be a prized one in your collection!
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3.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing, Feb. 9 2002
This review is from: Suspiria (DVD)
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!
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2.0 out of 5 stars ....For the soundtrack. Or first bit of it., Jan. 21 2002
This review is from: Suspiria (DVD)
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.
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4.0 out of 5 stars It may be flawed but it knocks spots off the modern horror, Jan. 10 2002
By A Customer
This review is from: Suspiria (VHS Tape)
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.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Chilling and atmospheric, Jan. 9 2002
By 
This review is from: Suspiria (Widescreen) (DVD)
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.
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1.0 out of 5 stars Suspiria is NOT what most of the reiviews are saying, Dec 11 2001
This review is from: Suspiria (DVD)
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.
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3.0 out of 5 stars ATTENTION ALL TRUE SPLATTER HORROR FANS, Dec 7 2001
By 
This review is from: Suspiria (Widescreen) (DVD)
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!
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Suspiria by Dario Argento (DVD - 2002)
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