Suspiria (1977)

5.0 out of 5

From interviews, so it seems, it was Daria Nicolodi and not partner Dario who was behind Argento's move into the more supernatural elements of horror and away from more conventional thriller. It was Daria Nicolodi, who had an interest in the supernatural and related the story of a school of witchcraft that she had learned from her grandmother.

Visually Suspiria is incredible with Bavaesque use of gels, spotlights and a three strip Technicolor process that provide rich the colour palette as the action takes placed bathed in brilliant blue, red and green hues.

Despite the undoubted input of Daria the feature possesses a number of Argento trademarks such as the unreliability of ocular testimony and undoubted self referential moments. In a brief change of mood from the Gothic to a retro futurist university segment that like the rest of the movie makes great use of the observation of architecture, colour, pattern, texture and geometric forms, Argento takes us into the familiar territory of his obsession with pseudoscience as the witchery is given an academic rationale.

Suspiria is one of the essentials of Italian genre film, an incredible movie and a definite must see.

Maurizio Merli header graphic courtesy of Paddy O'Neill of Foxyfide Graphics