Tuesday, October 08, 2013

31 Days of Halloween - Day 8 - Movie 1

Suspiria (1977) stars Jessica Harper as an American student who transfers to a prestigious European dance academy that turns out to be run by a coven of witches.

I last saw Suspiria on the big screen in New York City back in 1984-1985, so I was amazed at how much of this movie I retained in my memory upon watching it again today. I suppose it isn't surprising since the movie is incredibly stylish. It has lavish sets and color and lighting choices by way of Mario Bava. The plot is really basic and as the movie progresses, little of what happens seems to be connected to anything else, or determined by any sort of logic. Of course everything does make sense and is connected by the end. While the viewer is trying to piece it all together, there are so many outstanding images and stand out scenes that it's hard to forget them. Jessica Harper makes the perfect protagonist for this, she comes across as simultaneously frail and vulnerable and smart and determined. The music by Goblin is perfect for this film, lending it a dreamlike quality that turns to nightmarish giving even sedate visuals an undercurrent of impending doom.

This is the first film in a trilogy that Dario Argento calls "The Three Mothers." I'll be visiting the other two today as well.


Caffeinated Joe said...

Couldn't get into this movie. I tried, but it is just not my cup of tea.

Stephen said...

Saw this a couple of years ago for the first time. I'll have to check it out again if it comes up on cable this month.