Friday, October 21, 2011

Phil's Horror Watch, Day 19: Phil watches SUSPIRIA (1977)-October 19, 2011

My horror movie marathon continues with Day Nineteen! Now you might be asking yourself how in the world do I have time to watch all these great horror films? And how many do I own? I'll answer them both for you: I go to bed late and a lot! Ok, now that we've gotten the Q&A session out of the way, it's time to talk about tonight's film. Directed by Italian filmmaker Dario Argento, SUSPIRIA is one of the most frightening films ever made!

Theatrical Movie Poster (1977)
The film stars Jessica Harper as Suzy Bannion, an American ballerina who has come to Munich, Germany on a terrible stormy night to study at the prestigious Tans Dance Academy in Freiburg, which is run by the mysterious Madame Blanc (Joan Bennett) and Miss Tanner (Alida Valli). But when a series of bizarre incidents and horrific crimes turn the school into a waking nightmare of the damned, Suzy must escape the academy's unspeakable secret of supernatural evil.

Using a kaleidoscope of colors, SUSPIRIA is the most beautiful horror film ever made. Every single frame of this film is expertly lit and colorful. With this technique Argento manages to create an almost unbearable amount of tension and the extremely brutal and bloody murder sequences look so good one can only admire their beauty. The music score by Goblin is one of the most effective score ever to grace a horror movie.

The film was also the first chapter in Argento's infamous "The Three Mothers" trilogy, which included 1980's INFERNO and 2007's MOTHER OF TEARS. There are three Fates and three Graces and there are three Sorrows: "Mater Lacrymarum, Our Lady of Tears," "Mater Suspiriorum, Our Lady of Sighs," and "Mater Tenebrarum, Our Lady of Darkness." This would become the basis for the trilogy.

Shock rocker Alice Copper has said that the film is one of his top three films of all time. The Village Voice ranked the film #100 on their list of the 100 Greatest Films Made During the 20th Century. Entertainment Weekly ranked SUSPIRIA #18 on their list of the 25 Scariest Films Of All Time. Argento's films have been shown at retrospectives all over the globe, and this film has been the centerpiece of his career. The film was released in Italy on February 1, 1977. It would be released to American theaters on August 12th of that same year.

SUSPIRIA is one of the scariest films you will ever see! Honestly, it is that terrifying. In this age of CGI, forgettable sequels and lame remakes, take a journey and visit the house that Argento bulit. Then compare SUSPIRIA with all the other supposed "horror" films and see which one will give you nightmares tonight. But don't worry, it will all over before the dawn.

SUSPIRIA is available on DVD from the masters of horror over at Blue Underground. To purchase a copy, visit their website at

Thanks for reading, and enjoy the show!

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