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Suspiria

by

Jeff Nelson

It requires an acquired taste in horror cinema to enjoy Suspiria for what it is.

Suspiria
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Italian writer/director Dario Argento is a well-known name for those interested in classic horror from Italy. He has created films known by some as absolute masterpieces. Suspiria is known to be one of his greatest and is referenced in America cinema more often than one may believe. Argento is renowned for more than just creating cult horror flicks. He's able to create an atmosphere like no other. Suspiria is a fantastic example of him doing that and more. I believe that this was a critical film to be made for the genre. This is the inspiration for a large number of filmmakers currently in the industry.

Susan is a naive young American girl whose talents have brought her to a European ballet school. Once she arrives, she realized there's something out of the ordinary occurring as she's faced with freaky happenings. She soon learns that the school has been a meeting place for witches for many years. For those going into the film blind could be surprised by some of the twists and turns, but the synopsis given on nearly any website is sure to make everything more predictable. The fans of modern horror cinema might not appreciate the pacing as much as those who enjoy older cinema. There are a few scenes where the story drags a bit, but it picks back up rather quickly. There are many differences between film making styles in the 1970s to the 2000s. However, characters continue to make mindless decisions that had me rolling my eyes. The screenplay certainly has many flaws that aren't subtle, which truly shows in some of the dialogue. Dario Argento has always stood out better as a director than he ever has as a writer.

A lot of controversy surrounded the film regarding the acting. There are some that are die-hard fans of Suspiria and state everything about it is perfection while many others found numerous issues. The acting surely isn't anything to write home about. While they're satisfactory for the given material, no actors shine above the rest. None of the performances are memorable after the credits roll. There are some that believe that the acting is genuinely atrocious, but I felt that it's serviceable and nothing more.

ario Argento's strongest attribute to film making is clearly his eye for visuals. He makes each and every second of the film look great. He uses a variety of different colors, shades, and filters in order to convey emotion. This method has proven time and time again by Argento to be effective. The blood shown has Argento's name written all over it. He goes for a bright red tint rather than the darker red seen in other movies. The visuals are stunning from start to finish and viewers will be impressed whether they enjoy the film or not.

There are some films that need to be seen for yourself in order to get a personal opinion. Opinions on Suspiria spread very widely. Some call it one of the best original horror films to ever be made and others call it dull and overrated. There are definitely flaws scattered throughout, but I found it to be an enjoyable cult classic. It requires an acquired taste in horror cinema to enjoy Suspiria for what it is. If you're not into slow burn horror with merely satisfactory acting, then this is one to avoid. Dario Argento's style in direction is like no other.

My Rating = Four Stars

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