Wednesday, 7 December 2016

“Suspiria” (1977)

Fig. 1 "Suspiria" Poster

“Suspiria” is an Italian horror film directed by Dario Argento in 1977. This film has become one of Argento’s most successful films, receiving critical acclaim for its visual and stylistic flair, such as, use of vibrant colours and its soundtrack. As Alan Jones describes this movie in his review: "A stunning combination of menacing Grand Guignol atmosphere, dazzling colours, gory violence, lush décor and pounding soundtrack." (Jones, 2013). However, the film has barely any plot, but the set is so intriguing that it's mostly unnoticeable.
Fig. 2 Suzy leaves airport

The viewer is taken to experience something that is shocking and thrilling. The main protagonist, Suzy, a ballet student arrives at the airport in Germany. As Ed Gonzalez describes in his review: "Like a ballerina leaving the safety of her music box" (Gonzalez, 2001). (Fig.2) Her purpose of coming there is to enrol in the prestigious ballet academy. However, this academy is corrupted by a witch’s curse. Everyone who will try to escape this place will be immediately chased by demonic spirits and terribly killed.
Fig.3 Vivid colours
“Suspiria” is definitely not the film to watch for its complex plot. However, this film has great use of lighting and colour throughout the whole production.(Fig.3) All scenes are lit in vibrant theatrical colours, letting viewer be emerged in the scenery. As Smith points out in his review: Argento's masterful use of deep primary colours — the sets are bathed in garish red and green light (he acquired 1950s Technicolor stock to get the effect) giving the whole film a hallucinatory intensity.’ (Smith, 2007). Scenes with vibrant lighting in them points out that something bad will happen soon, for example, when Suzy drinks red wine which had sleeping pills in it, the wine is pushed into the foreground and lit in red colour showing that this drink was noxious.(Fig.4) Nevertheless, dominant colour in “Suspiria” is red. As it is known red colour represents blood, violence, death and lust. 
Fig. 4 Poisoned food
Another thing that makes “Suspiria” a great movie, is the terrifying music. This non-diegetic music does a lot for the film. It is very loud and escalates very quickly. Nevertheless, it is not enjoyable to listen to it when you see gory scenes. It is not a typical piece of music, you can hear some kind of whispering words in it, as it is meant to represent the witches curse in the words. However, the viewer is put to feel fear and jump out of their seats when they are watching this film.
In conclusion, “Suspiria” has a lack of plot, but set design makes it fantastically amusing to watch. As Red colour usage in “Suspiria” exaggerates gory acts furthermore. This film has the combination of vivid colours and non-diegetic music that makes “Suspiria” a very successful horror film.
Gonzalez, E. (2001) "Suspiria" At:
(Accessed on 07/12/2016) 

 Jones, A. (2013) "Suspiria" review. At: (Accessed on 07/12/2016)
Smith, A. (2007) "Suspiria" review. At: (Accessed on 07/12/2016)
Illustration List:
Fig.1 "Suspiria" poster  (Poster) At: (Accessed on 07/12/2016)
Fig.2 Suzy leaves airport (Still) From: Suspiria. Directed by: Argento, D. [Film still] Germany (Weimar Republic): Seda Spettacoli. At: (Accessed on 07/12/2016)
Fig.3  Vivid colours (Still) From: Suspiria. Directed by: Argento, D. [Film still] Germany (Weimar Republic): Seda Spettacoli. At: (Accessed on 07/12/2016)
Fig.4 Poisoned food (Still) From: Suspiria. Directed by: Argento, D. [Film still] Germany (Weimar Republic): Seda Spettacoli. At: (Accessed on 07/12/2016)


  1. I think you 'enjoyed' it!? :) I wish I could have watch it with you lot too - what an experience!!!

    1. Yeah I did enjoy the film! It Gave me those little shivers!!! :D