Number 2 on the Countdown to Halloween
Movie Review by Siobahn Harris
Suspiria was definitely an intimidating pick for the number 2 spot on the Countdown to Halloween. I knew very little about it, but I have heard how much people love this movie. If I were to pick this and hate it, I would be putting myself into some hot water. However, it turns out, I totally understand what all the fuss is about.
A young girl from New York, Suzy (Jessica Harper), travels to Germany to train with a very prestigious ballet school. Unfortunately, her first night in town doesn’t go as planned. It’s pouring rain, when she shows up there is a girl storming out of the school, and the person answering the door tells her to leave. The next day she returns to the school and finds out that the woman who left the school the night before was murdered.
Outside of being a little shaken by the event, the school can’t stop for the loss of one girl. Well, they can, but they just don’t want to because… BALLET!
Suzy is told that she’ll be staying with another student, Olga (Barbara Magnolfi). Once everyone gathers for class, the HBIC Madame Blanc (Joan Bennett) offers her a place to stay in the school. But Suzy already likes her new place and turns down the offer. Madame Blanc doesn’t seem too pleased about it, but she seems to let it go.
One of the teachers, Ms. Tanner (Alida Valli) gathers Suzy and a few other students to a class in the yellow room. The students frolic down the hall to class, but Suzy seems to take her time. Along the way, she sees some people hanging out in the hallway, a woman polishing silver and Madame Blanc’s nephew, both are intensely staring at her. Suzy locks eyes with them and can’t seem to look away. Suddenly, she falls very ill. She wakes up in a room with people standing around her. The doctor says that she is just out of practice, but that’s weird since she felt like crap before dancing. Madame Blanc tells her that her things were moved into the room she is in now, a room in the school. Funny how that worked out.
Suzy soon makes friend with Sara (Stefania Casini) who seems to have many secrets to tell her. Secrets about the school, the student who ran away, and noises she hears in the night. Turns out the school is hiding way more secrets than Sara even thought. Unfortunately, to keep those secrets, blood must be spilled.
Okay, when I first heard about this movie, it was because they were remaking it. Everyone kept saying how great it was that they were remaking this amazing film. Hearing that, I had to look into it. Sadly, I was just confused by the trailer. Let’s be clear, I watched the 2018 trailer. I watched that trailer so many times just trying to see why people were flipping out about it, but I just didn’t get it.
Finally, I decided to watch the 1977 trailer, and it looked intense. Even though I was excited to see it, I was still a little worried that it would be more artistic than anything. I thought that I wouldn’t get it, there would be aspects that didn’t make sense to me, and so much more. But that wasn’t the case.
Sure, Suspiria utilizes colors to tell a story, but it just adds to the scenes. You’ll notice while watching that red is a very dominate color throughout. The colors will give you clues and hints at what’s going on. It’s very interesting because it feels like a side story that is told only in color and lighting.
The deaths are very visual and intense. They made sure that you got to see everything that happens in each death, as if you are the killer. I really enjoyed seeing how each of the characters were going to die and I thought they did an interesting approach for each one.
Something I wanted to point out was that this movie utilized the ugly face of death. The truth is, when we die, it may not be beautifully peaceful in our beds at an old age. No. Sometimes death is messy and ugly. Most horror movies today have people dying and still looking beautifully posed and not a fake eyelash out of place. But Suspiria was like, nope. Most of us will see the image below and giggle because she is making a silly face. But that’s just the point, Suspiria brought the truth to death scenes. Who cares what you look like when you’re fighting for your life?
I honestly believe that no one would die if they just did what they came to do. The safest people in the movie were the ones that minded their own damn business. Come on, people! Eat, Dance, Sleep, Repeat! Doing this will keep you alive! Is your friend asking too many questions? Dump that friend. Are you curious about that dimly lit room? Don’t be. Don’t ask questions. Just dance and go home!
Hell yes! This movie was creepy as hell! The deaths, the lighting, the creepy people, the mystery, all of it just made for a perfect mixture of True Fear. Suspiria (1977) is definitely a classic horror movie you should watch!