I do not typically like scary horror movies and I do not like movies that involve a lot of blood/guts/fear/suspense/torture porn/etc. I do, however, like movies that are visually beautiful and surprising, such as Suspiria, the 1977 horror classic about an American ballerina making her way through a dance school run by witches directed by Dario Argento. I know any horror film people reading this right now are like, “gah! adoy, it’s a classic!” and are having that feeling that you have when someone’s parents ask you if you’ve heard of the cool indie band called Radiohead, but I guess I don’t care what horror film buffs think… unless there are more movies like Suspiria that they are somehow hiding from me and other non-horror people.
But! In the same way that I was endlessly amused by the Japanese classic horror film Hausu (also from 1977), I feel like I could watch Suspiria over and over again. In fact, I would LIVE in Suspiria, that’s how visually appealing I think this film is. It involves tons of scenes in one of my favorite all time color combinations: rich, bright blood red and all shades of turquoise. There are symmetrical diagonal stairways and huge rooms with highly stylized tromp l’oeil. Also, can we talk about the creepy neon peacock? And Jessica Harper’s eyebrows? They obviously rule, as does the music from the prog rock band Goblin. The art direction makes me swoon; the special effects not so much (however they do provide a solid chuckle). I can’t help but think that the movie Drive found some inspiration here, and PA Nicole also pointed out that The Grand Budapest Hotel‘s blood red interiors might draw on some aesthetic notes from Suspiria as well. I can’t wait to watch it again, and perhaps check out some other Argento films.