Suspiria (1977)

Suspiria (1977) movie poster

director Dario Argento
viewed: 07/15/2017

Dario Argento’s Suspiria is well-loved and well-praised and with good reason. It’s a spectacle of surreal imagery, colors deeply saturated, style out the yin-yang, strange and eerie and amazing. The interior designs are as lurid as porn, if porn was Art Nouveau.

There is a giallo vibe about the whole thing, but Argento lets the audience know pretty early on that this is not something explicable outside of the uncanny and supernatural. There is a mystery here, but it’s not a serial killer, but a witches’ coven, and a pretty serious one at that.

As vivid as it is (and it’s freaking vivid), I never encountered the memories of this film while re-watching it just now. For some reason, of my earliest encounters with Argento, it’s Inferno that mostly dominated my memory banks, while Suspiria left a much more vague impression. Maybe it’s an age thing; I was a young teen, and this viewing which I shared with my 13 year old daughter, she found it kind of confusing and weird.

It is indeed so striking and surprising, ornate and lush, quirky and twisty, the world of Suspiria is one of utter fantasy and nightmare, ruled by dream-logic, and drenched in Technicolor.

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