Sunday, 24 October 2010

Suspiria (Dario Argento, 1977)

Suspiria is a pitch-perfect example of "pure" horror cinema; the near-total disregard of narrative and character in favour of painstakingly setting a specific mood and atmosphere.

The results will frustrate those seeking logic, but offer in its place an unparalleled aesthetic experience; a whirling maelstrom of colour and composition accompanied by a cacophony of sound designed to unsettle and unnerve. It's proof if proof need be that in the right hands, books and films can be very different things indeed.

The story could be written on the back of a beer mat, and involves witches at a German ballet school, but like all Argento films it is little more than a framework to support a series of increasingly outrageous murder scenes, the director's ruthlessly sadistic streak competing directly with his decorative sense of fine detail and beauty.

With Italian prog-rockers Goblin providing the deafening soundtrack, one doesn't so much watch Suspiria as be buffeted around in its turbulent waters. This is unquestionably Argento's masterwork, a unique piece of horror history; gory, stupid and absolutely redoubtably glorious.

1 comment:

  1. That's the beauty of Argento. He can take half of the elements that comprise a 'weak' movie and make an enjoyable experience using only those.