Director: Dario Argento
Stars: Jessica Harper, Stefania Casini, Flavio Bucci
Reviewed by Brian M. Sammons
What, you still here? Come on, it’s Dario Argento, perhaps the most visually stunning director (not his looks, his films, although I guess he is kind of cute) ever. His use of color is unmatched and that is never more evident than this film, so this was made for the HD treatment. This is also one of his best movies, only slightly beaten out (in my opinion) by Deep Red. This new, amazing-looking transfer on Blu-ray is from Australian powerhouse Umbrella Entertainment, so even though it comes from the land Down Under, it’s region-free and can play anywhere. It also comes loaded with extras. So yeah: get it. ‘Nuff said.
What, you want more? Okay, okay, here we go.
Jessica Harper (from another weird favorite of mine: Phantom of the Paradise) is an American ballet student who goes to Germany to attend a prestigious dance academy. Once there a whole bunch of weirdness, and murder, begins to happen. This includes, but is not limited to, maggots falling from the ceiling, dog attacks, murder by a hairy-armed-faceless-thing, Argento’s patented brand of over-the-top kills, a room full of razor wire for some reason, black magic, witches, and more. There is a mystery to be solved here, but really, the plot is not that coherent. I have often heard this movie called dream-like, and that is true, but I do think of that as the nice way of saying that this doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. But like every Argento film, the movie looks great and is a treat for the eyes that few other films can even come close to. For sure there are layers to be peeled on this onion that promote more than one viewing, but really for me it’s all about the art of this film. How it looks, how it moves, how it sounds. I can forgive it a bit of nonsensical weirdness for the cinema experience it delivers. There’s else nothing quite like Suspiria, not even Argento’s other Three Mothers movies, and this movie has never looked better in glorious HD.
On to the extras and special features on this new Blu-ray from Umbrella Entertainment. First there is an all-new interview with director Dario Argento for this movie’s 40th anniversary that’s nearly half an hour long. There’s a documentary on the movie that was done for its 25th anniversary that runs for 52 minutes. There is yet another interview with Argento from 2004 that is over 21 minutes in length. And there is another documentary about Suspiria from Cine-Excess that is 35 minutes. There is an hour-long featurette about Argento and his movies called “An Eye for Horror” that I thought was really good. And then there is another featurette called “Dario Argento’s World of Horror” that is 71 minutes long. I’m not done yet; there is also a still-image gallery, the international trailer, the U.S. theatrical trailer, radio spots, and a Dario Argento trailer reel that collects a whole bunch of the trailers from his films from 1970 to 2009 and runs an impressive 41 minutes.
Suspiria is a classic in every sense of the word and a must-have film for any lover of horror cinema or just amazing looking movies in general. It looks incredible in this new Blu-ray edition and the disc comes loaded with extras. They do not get any higher recommended than this, so once again: get it.