Thursday, August 21, 2008

Dario Argento, You Colorful Bastard

That there is the trailer for Argento's seminal 1977 horror spectacle, Suspiria. It's long been one of my favorite movie trailers of all time, but until now, it's been the only bit of Suspiria I've ever seen. It's been on my Netflix queue forever, and I've been meaning to see it, so last night I finally watched it. I think I can safely say I've never seen people murdered in a more lushly colorful setting before!

First of all, it should be said that the sound on the DVD was atrocious, and I'm pretty sure this is the best quality DVD available on the market for this movie, which is kind of sad. Where are the audio geeks and why have they not found a way to give this movie a cleaned-up and buffed sountrack for a special edition or something? It's only one of the classic horror films of all time.
The background music was SUPER loud but the dialogue was super quiet, so I was riding the volume controls all night.

That being said, the background music might have been my favorite part -- so intense and unsettling! Even just watching the DVD menu, that music is so terrifically menacing. Loved it.

Of course, the visuals are where it's really at, with all that intense Technicolor -- it's atmospheric horror in a way I'm not sure I've seen atmospheric done, before or since. There are few things I like better in a scary movie than when the environment itself seems unreal or untrustworthy, and Argento hits that point hard. Nothing about that ballet academy seems real, with the bright red lighting coming from nowhere and the severe architecture stretching out into infinity. You get the feeling at any time the walls could melt and the floor drop out from under you. It's great.

The much-ballyhooed violence of the death scenes turned out to be, much like most ballyhooed scenes of violence, a bit oversold. It's hard to help that, with the movie released in 1977 and all. That being said, that razor-wire scene was choice. Poor Sara. Poor, dumb Sara.


Anonymous said...

I bought a limited addition DVD package that came with the soundtrack it's pretty cool.

Mertseger said...

Goblin is great for the 70's prog-head in all of us. In addition to the sound track, I'd also recommend their "Roller" album. I pull out their "Dawn of the Dead" soundtrack for Halloween every years.

JA said...

There might be no finer close-up in all of cinema than the one of maggots squirming in the teeth of a comb in Suspiria.