Suspiria (1977)

Suspiria (1977, ITA) C-98m. SCOPE *** D: Dario Argento. Starring Jessica Harper, Stefania Casini, Joan Bennett, Alida Valli, Flavio Bucci, Udo Kier, Rudolf Schündler. Argento's follow-up to PROFONDO ROSSO was to be his breakthrough film, a breathtaking symphony of terror about a young American student (Harper) who comes to a ballet school in Freiburg, Germany, and slowly discovers that it is ruled by an evil witch. Chilling, terrifying horror opus punches its shock scenes across, brilliant soundtrack (by Goblin and Dario Argento) contributes to one of the densest, most hauntingly sinister atmospheres ever created on film. Superb art direction and cinematography (by Luciano Tovoli) plunge the architecture of the sets in stylish red and blue. Perhaps Argento's artistically most accomplished piece of work. Watch it in a theater for maximum effect. SUSPIRIA is the first part of the (unfinished) 'Three Mothers'-trilogy, based on Suspiria de Profundis by Thomas de Quincey. Screenplay by Argento and Daria Nicolodi. Produced by Claudio Argento (SANTA SANGRE). Followed by INFERNO in 1980.


© Ron Altman