Both inventive and derivative, Dario Argento's Suspiria is a scary thriller. Made in 1977, this film was shot in Italy and Germany with actors speaking English, Italian, German, and Romanian. On the downside, it is horribly dubbed into English, so that is a little distracting; yet, at the same time seems to add to the mayhem of the film.
Argento and musical entity 'Goblin' share credits for the creepy soundtrack. (For those of you with access to the dave mp3 server, you can find it there). Continuing the use of sound to increase atmosphere (dating back to Fritz Lang's 'M' thriller), they have derived an eerie mix of percussion, squeaky moog synthesizers and chant. Carpenter seems to have borrowed some of this style a year or so later when he releases 'Halloween'.
Argento uses color and scenery well. The film looks to be shot in Technicolor, so some of the shots jump off the screen. Technicolor also allows for very vibrant monochromatic shots. Many of his shots are borrowed from Hitchcock, but without the depth of field. The scenes are elaborate and rich in detail. Argento makes use of many dolly shots and possibly some steadi-cam to follow our actors around.
The premise of the film is pretty simple - our young, innocent, fairy-tale-like heroine arrives at a prestigious ballet academy to begin her study. The academy is not just a studio for dance, there's something else going on...
Full profile for Suspiria
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