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506 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Outside of devoted cult audiences, many Americans have yet to discover the extremely stylish, relentlessly terrifying Italian horror genre, or the films of its talented virtuoso, Dario Argento. Suspiria, part one of a still-uncompleted trilogy (the luminously empty Inferno was the second), is considered his masterpiece by Argento devotees but also doubles as a perfect starting point for those unfamiliar with the director or his genre. The convoluted plot follows an American dancer (Jessica Harper) from her arrival at a European ballet school to her discovery that it's actually a witches coven; but, really, don't worry about that too much. Argento makes narrative subservient to technique, preferring instead to assault the senses and nervous system with mood, atmosphere, illusory gore, garish set production, a menacing camera, and perhaps the creepiest score ever created for a movie. It's essentially a series of effectively unsettling set pieces--a raging storm that Harper should have taken for an omen, and a blind man attacked by his own dog are just two examples--strung together on a skeleton structure. But once you've seen it, you'll never forget it. --Dave McCoy

Special Features

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Product Details

  • Actors: Jessica Harper, Stefania Casini, Flavio Bucci, Miguel Bosé, Barbara Magnolfi
  • Directors: Dario Argento
  • Writers: Dario Argento, Daria Nicolodi, Thomas De Quincey
  • Producers: Claudio Argento, Salvatore Argento
  • Format: Anamorphic, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, DTS Surround Sound, Subtitled, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: Italian (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround), English (DTS ES 6.1), English (THX Surround EX), French (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround)
  • Subtitles: English, French, Italian
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Starz / Anchor Bay
  • DVD Release Date: September 11, 2001
  • Run Time: 98 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (506 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00005ASOI
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #66,750 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Suspiria" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

96 of 103 people found the following review helpful By Mike Liddell on August 14, 2007
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
The premise as most know a girl Suzy Banyon, an American ballet dancer arrives at a well known European dance academy run by mysterious teachers where nothing is as it seems. As Suzy arrives at night in a horrible thunder and lightening storm a girl is leaving in a frenzy yelling a secret into the night, what follows is as Entertainment Weekly calls "the most vicious murder scene ever filmed".

Director Dario Argento "paints" an effective horror story, he puts relatable people in relatable situations so we can buy into his film. Then very cleverly has dreamlike sets bursting with colors, we as viewers subconsciously know something isn't right and I believe this use of color subtly keeps us on edge. Even the title of the film, What is Suspiria? I googled it to find it is a film by Dario Argento, so even the title has us subconsciously unsure going in. Although I could be wrong on that. Then add an unrelenting, nerve wracking, and haunting score by Goblin (one of the most effective I've experienced). We enter with Suzy into this academy and we know something isn't right, we are experiencing what she is, it is like a dream and maybe nothing is wrong, and with the blink of an eye this dream becomes a nightmare, we can stop the dvd but what is Suzy going to do?

To upgrade or not to upgrade. The first set of features are also what you get on the single disc anchorbaby dvd still available for 10$.
English (DTS 6.1)
English (Dolby Digital 6.1)
English (Dolby Digital 2.0) Not available on the single disc
Italian (Dolby Digital 2.0)
French (Dolby Digital 2.0)

Features (All on Anchorbay single disc)
# Anamorphic Widescreen 2.
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84 of 93 people found the following review helpful By D. Litton on September 30, 2001
Format: DVD
For those of us who think that Wes Craven is the master of the horror genre, we can think again. I'm speaking these words after watching "Suspiria," one of the most frightening and terrifying horror movies ever made. Created by Italian director Dario Argento, the movie manages to be menacing and gory at the same time, and Argento fills his canvas with a vast array of vivid yet bizarre colors, eerie lighting and camera techniques, and a soundtrack to top all horror soundtracks. In short, this is one hell of a scary movie!
The plot is a basic one, more of a vehicle for Argento's explorative imagination. It begins with a storm, as young Susy Banyon (Jessica Harper) arrives in Germany to attend ballet school. Argento wastes no time in creating a sense of unease, from her cab ride to the school, as she watches the colors of street lights in the pouring rain, to the gruesome and outright malicious murder of a runaway student. All of this happens within the first ten minutes, which should be a message of what lies ahead (in other words, be prepared).
The movie then takes us to the school itself, a dazzling array of vivid colors and elaborate set pieces that put the house in Robert Wise's "The Haunting" to shame. Susy is shown the many rooms and introduced to the staff and students, though discovers that she will be rooming off campus. That is, until she begins to get suspicious about strange occurrences, and the staff relocates her to the premises. Her suspicions mount higher, and she begins to wonder if there isn't more to the ladies that run the academy.
You may find yourself forgetting the plot behind all of this mayhem, but that's perfectly reasonable, given the fact that Argento seems to be more interested in attacking our minds than provoking them.
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21 of 24 people found the following review helpful By skytwo on November 6, 2004
Format: DVD
It's always interesting to me to hear people explain why they don't like Argento's movies. I've seen most of them at this point, and although a few of them aren't that special, the majority are at the very least excellent additions to the horror canon.

The defense of Argento you're most likely to hear is that the movies don't NEED to make perfect sense. What Argento has done is to create an atmosphere that is more dreamlike than grounded in reality. In that sense, they definitely have a more nightmarish feel than most horror movies, which tend to be bland, formulaic, or beholden to useless exposition.

Argento appeals to raw sensuality, primal fear, and the unsettling feeling of un-reality. And Suspiria is probably his most effective movie in this sense. The American prints of his movies have always been re-edited, cut, and underbaked. Anchor Bay has fixed this with their stunning series of Argento movies. Seeing this version of Suspiria was like seeing it for the first time. The color schemes are gorgeous, saturared, and haunting. The print is crisp. And perhaps most importantly, we can finally see the movie the way it was meant to be seen.

If you just can't turn off that analytic instinct when you watch his movies, maybe they just aren't for you. But if you want to take in an incredibly atmospheric horror film that plays with basic horror elements to produce something imaginative, strange and terrifying, then this is a must see. The movies DO make sense-- perfect sense, in fact. It just might not become clear on the first viewing. Like a bad dream, it can be loosely structured. But still plenty scary.
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Should I buy the 2-disc or the 3-disc?
The Anchor Bay 3-Disc (which is now out-of-print) contained all of the bonus features presented here in the new Blue Underground 2 Disc version, plus a CD featuring the soundtrack. The soundtrack alone is worth tracking down the 3-Disc version (featuring some of the creepiest horror music I've... Read More
Jun 16, 2008 by rabidgoatboy |  See all 3 posts
Movies about witches and cults
99.9 by agustin
Dec 8, 2010 by DangitMeng JCC |  See all 7 posts
A little late, but the Anchor Bay disc does not have subtitles, but it does offer closed captioning.
May 18, 2011 by Tommy D. Strong |  See all 3 posts
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