“Suspiria” (1977) is probably Dario Argento’s best known work and often cited as his masterpiece. Protagonist Suzy Bannion arrives at a European ballet school on the same night as the brutal murder of another student. Strange happenings abound almost from the start and Suzy eventually discovers the terrible truth behind the school’s existence.
“Suspiria” is the first film of Argento’s I ever watched and, as such, I hold it in high regard and generally overlook most of its flaws. For instance, Argento originally planned to cast twelve-year-old girls, but it was feared that the graphic violence with such young characters would put off some audiences, so he made the characters older, but didn’t go back and change the dialogue. So the majority of these older teenage girls act like little brats. But I’ve known girls like that, so it didn’t bug me too much. Whatever problems I might have with the movie, I tend to forget them due to the beautiful imagery he puts onscreen. He does some amazing work with colors and lights and the score by frequent collaborators Goblin really ratchet up the tension. It’s not a perfect film, but it’s a damn entertaining surreal nightmare.