on August 14, 2007
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$.
English (DTS 6.1)
English (Dolby Digital 6.1)
English (Dolby Digital 2.0) Not available on the single disc
Italian (Dolby Digital 2.0)
French (Dolby Digital 2.0)
Features (All on Anchorbay single disc)
# Anamorphic Widescreen 2.35:1
# DTS-ES Digital Surround
# Dolby Digital EX Surround
DISC 1 EXTRAS: (All on Anchorbay single disc)
* Theatrical Trailers
* TV Spot
* Radio Spots
* "Suspiria" Music Video By Daemonia
* Poster & Still Gallery
* Talent Bios
DISC 2 EXTRAS: (All new)
* "Suspiria" 25th Anniversary Interviews with Co-Writer/Director Dario Argento, Co-Writer Daria Nicolodi, Cinematographer Luciano Tovoli, Composers Goblin (Claudio Simonetti, Massimo Morante, Fabio Pignatelli & Agostino Marangolo), and Stars Jessica Harper, Stefania Casini & Udo Kier
# French (Dolby Digital 2.0)
The transfer and the sound are going to be the same, if you didn't own any copy i would say this 2 disc version for 5$ more is the way to go, also if your an Argento fan or fan of the film, disc 2's features most likely will be worth it to you.
Hope this helps..
on September 30, 2001
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. And he succeeds in doing just that, taking us into the darkest depths of horror with his adept use of gore, bursting colors, camera movements and creepy sounds from all around.
This is extremely unsettling stuff here, some of the most elaborate yet unbearable set pieces ever constructed for a film. The beginning murder sequence is a true shocker, one that we see coming, but never in such a gruesome manner. Other sequences involve a blind man being attacked by his own seeing-eye dog, multiple stabbings, a girl's corpse coming back to life... it never stops.
But it all works due to Argento's ability to get under our skin before shocking us out of it. Before each scene of brutality, there is a wonderful buildup of suspense and terror, because even though we know what's going to happen, we're totally in the dark as to how it will occur. He keeps us waiting impatiently by employing a slowly building soundtrack, heightened by slow camera movements that center on the faces of the person involved.
"Suspiria" will remain in the memory long after its first viewing; in fact, you may never forget it. It stands out as a visionary masterpiece, one for the senses and the mind, a horror film that transcends the boundaries of the genre. I was intrigued by every minute of this film, which keeps you in the moment long after it's already passed.
on November 6, 2004
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.
Fans are likely to rank Argento's movies in very different order, but Deep Red and Opera would probably rank pretty high on most people's lists, and I really enjoyed Phenomena and Tenebre as well. All of these are available from Anchor Bay. A lot of folks tend to write off Trauma, but I enjoyed it quite a bit. Even the new Sleepless is worth seeing, but I went with the European version-- the American release does the usual job of re-editing, cutting and re-formatting Argento's original film. When will it end?
on November 18, 2001
I first saw Suspiria a few years ago as a VHS rental but I couldn't remember too much about it. But suddenly, the world of Italian horror has been broken wide open so I picked up this three disk limited edition. Watching Suspiria is sort of like dreaming awake. Colored lighting is used to great effect and the sound track just sort of lulls one into submission. The plot makes about as much sense as a dream, that is to say, the movie all makes sense while watching but looses cohesion quickly once one returns to the "real" world. I think that is why I only remember watching the VHS rental but not too much of the movie.
The three disc set includes a newly made documentary and a Goblin soundtrack from the movie. The documentary suffers from subtitles that are sometimes washed out against a light background. Otherwise, it is informative. The Goblin CD is a lot fun to listen to and I find myself humming the main theme all the time. Unfortunately, I do not find a listing for the names of the songs. The main disk also includes trailers and radio spots and a Goblin music video of Demonia, which appears to be the main theme song.
on February 6, 2003
If you've never seen a Dario Argento film and are curious as to why he has such a huge cult following, "Suspiria" is a great place to start finding out. The atmosphere Argento creates in the film fills you with such a sense of heavy dread, it's no wonder that he claims that this film and "Inferno" (an inferior but stylish follow-up) were exhausting to make. Most likely, he probably creeped himself out. "Suspiria" will make your skin crawl, even when nothing seems to be happening. Argento even makes falling rain seem disturbing. The film moves like a dream, and the Goblin soundtrack is haunting. This is the best, creepiest music I have ever heard in a horror film. The storyline is basic, as in most Argento films, and what moves the viewer is not the story (centering around a dancing-academy run by a coven of witches) but the style and dreamy-quality of Argento's directing. The gore is strong in this movie, so sensitive viewers beware. For any fan of good horror, this film is a must. If you've never seen Argento, now is a good time to start. And start with "Suspiria"!
on July 20, 2015
I'm revising my rating/review of the Korean version BD. I first watched it on my Mac via Pioneer burner drive with Aiseesoft Blu-ray player/not so great... I rated it low with ghosting type of shifting to movement and a lot of blurriness so I gave it about a 2/5 stars. BUT, I finally got around to watching it on my Sharp 50 inch HDTV using my PS4 which is a decent BD player, and it looks a lot better. I don't have another BD version to compare it to yet and I'm waiting for the Synapse release which will hopefully come out sooner than later. I've seen reviews of other European releases and they looked pretty good. Some of the color adjustments of this version seem off, with some almost orange faces or fluorescent looking faces... so I don't know what's going on there, it can be remedied via HDTV settings/adjustments.
As for the movie itself, it's a classic and most Argento fans agree it's amongst his best. I would give this movie a 5/5 for Argento films overall and rate equally high for the horror genre. This movie has the right balance of occult mystery, bizarre soundtrack, stunning visual use of colors and setting to keep most peoples interest although it may leave hard core gore fanatics wanting. Some of the visual gore techniques might seem camp and dated by todays standards but the movie has an affective occult charm regarding the basic story of uncovering a coven of witches.
I jumped on this when I saw it available for preorder for only $3.97 lol, what could I lose? with tax it was only about $9.00 well worth it in the end. I've noticed the price has jumped up quite a bit. All I can say is that up close watching it on my Mac via the software based player was a horrible experience, painful to attempt to watch, but on a standard BD player or PS4/or PS3 with decent HDTV it looks a lot better. I am curious to compare it to other releases on BD, so I'll get the Synapse when that comes out and I'm researching a bit to decide which past BD version to get for comparison. Prior to this BD release I owned only the AnchorBay DVD and the Blue Underground DVD.
on April 29, 2011
First off, many horror fans do not like this film. This film is atmospheric, artistic and understated even during its most horrific gory scenes. It is not for the viewer who believes "Saw" is the best thing since sliced bread or for those who don't like to think through their films.
I explain this to others as a film that asks something from you, its not just to entertain you. You have to be able to lose yourself in the plot and see the building suspense and horror through the eyes of a very innocent young woman. You really have to consider what she is seeing and how it appears to her.
The camera work and color are astounding and you really need to be able to take the time to look at the scenery and experience it as almost a character unto itself. The music adds to the suspense and as the tension builds, the music responds.
The film is artistic, moody, brutal, claustrophobic and an experience, not just a movie. Watch it as such. It harkens back to the golden era of film and not to today's movies.
on October 26, 2001
I've rented the old vhs copy of this movie several times before.. it's one of my favorite horror films. The music, the atmosphere, everything. But, if you're even curious about this dvd, then chances are, i don't have to sell you on the film itself. How does the dvd look and sound? Its almost like watching a completely different movie from the one that i've rented. The transfer is near perfect. With the masterful composition of the images in this film and the vivid colors used, you owe it to yourself to see this disc. The film shouldn't be seen any other way, unless you find it playing on the big screen.. but even then, i doubt you'll get a better looking image than this.
The ingenious score, by Goblin (who does the music for many of Argento's films), has been beautifully remastered. The mix itself is incredible. i guess i can't quit saying good things about this disc. just buy it. i promise you won't be disappointed.
on August 6, 2002
Having seen reviewers that compared Dario Argento to Alfred Hitchcock and Kafka, I rented "Suspiria" and settled down for what I hoped would be a great movie experience. Having watched it twice now, I'm STILL not sure what to think of it!!!
Hmmm...I think that if Dario Argento purposefully wanted to focus more attention on psychological terror, and less on story, I think he should have gone ALL the way with it. It's a stylish, freaky film, but there are STILL boring moments of exposition and plot (I mean, really, who cares about the dance school?!). I thought that the first 10 minutes or so of the movie were fantastic...from the atmospheric shots in the airport, the cab ride in the rain, to the first couple of murders, all accompanied by that insane music...absolutely ground-breaking and great. But then after that, it all slows down. There's the silly dressing-room scene ("people with names that begin with 's' are really snakes"), the dance practice scenes, the getting-to-know-the-staff scenes, etc. Pretty boring.
Either make the plot better, or GO FOR IT, and abandon plot exposition entirely. Go all the way with the surrealism, or learn how to write a better script and story. That's my view.
But I should say that I'm intrigued now, not only by this film, but by all the hype that surrounds Argento, his movies, and even his daughter. Looking at reviews for his other "masterpieces," I see frequent disclaimers about his convoluted and poorly executed plots, but he's still called the "Lovecraft of horror films." I saw his "Phantom of the Opera" and was shocked at how ridiculously HORRIBLE it was. I mean, really pathetic. I haven't seen "Deep Red" or "Inferno" yet, but they've GOT to be better than that!
In the end, "Suspiria" doesn't strike me as a "beautiful" "art" film...it's a supernatural slasher flick! But the music, strange sets, and weird, colored lighting do add up to a strangely satisfying horror experience, far more interesting than any of the "Friday The 13th" sorts of movies.
on January 7, 2006
NOTE: This is a review for the Region 2 DVD of Dario Argento's SUSPIRIA.
WARNING: This review contains spoilers.
Dario Argento is an Italian horror director with alot of talent. In his films, he makes the murders strangely artistic and beautiful, but at the same time horrific and violent. Unfortunately, the actors in his films give rather wooden performances and there is little story, but SUSPIRIA is completely different.
SUSPIRIA is about a young American girl, Suzy Banyon, who arrives at a famous Dance Academy, and sees a girl rush out of the school shouting something, although her screams are drowned out by the thunder. Suzy can't get in, somebody telling her to go away on the intercom.
We go back to the girl who ran from the school, who is staying with someone else. However, she is very brutally murdered in what can only be called the most horrifying, violent, and artistic murder scene ever filmed. Including shots of the girl having her head smashed through the window, being stabbed in the heart and falling through a glass ceiling with a rope around her neck, eventually being hung, Dario Argento shows his talent at its best.
The next day, Suzy enters the dance academy, where more bizarre things occur. Suzy finally discovers that the academy is secretly run by the legendary Helena Mulcos ( I hope that's the correct spelling) who is one of the 'three mothers,' sadistic witches of pain and murder.
SUSPIRIA is a very fun film, fairly fast-paced and with a one-of-a-kind soundtrack by the Goblins, which has several layers and is very loud. What's most remembered about the film are the gaudy visuals. Every shot has larger-than-life, bright colours. The acting in the film is surprisingly good. The teachers are very brilliant and realistic, and most of the students are good too.
For the Region 2 two-disc special edition of SUSPIRIA, Anchor Bay have done a good job at cleaning up the picture quality. The colours are rich and beautiful, doing justice to the visuals, and nothing is too dark. There are hardly any distracting dots or scratches during the film - maybe five - although they are more noticeable during the end credits.
The sound quality for the film is superb too. Dialogue is very clear, and the music is just as loud as was intended by the composers. Unfortunately, though, Anchor Bay have made mistakes in the soundtrack when remastering it, with some sounds out-of-sync. Apart from this, the sound is brilliant. The three soundtracks are Dolby Surround 2.0, Dolby Digital 5.1 and even DTS 6.1.
The bonus features - although they aren't spectacular - are very good too. There are two trailers, a TV spot, three radio spots, a music video, a large photo gallery, talent profiles and even a 76-minute documentary about director Dario Argento. It includes clips from many of his films - SUSPIRIA, DEEP RED, INFERNO, TENEBRAE, THE BIRD WITH THE CRYSTAL PLUMAGE, etc - and it goes into depth about why Dario Argento loves horror films and why he makes his murder scenes so beautiful.
SUSPIRIA: SPECIAL EDITION is a very good DVD that belongs in your collection. The film is good, the picture and sound quality brilliant and the extras very fun and memorable too.