As we close in on October 31, AiPT! will be reviewing and recommending various pieces of underappreciated scary media-books, comics, movies, and television-to help keep you terrified and entertained all the way up to Halloween.
Suspiria is one of the most iconic horror films in history. Directed by the legendary Dario Argento, the Italian supernatural thriller is also incredibly influential to this day. For example, a remake is scheduled to be released this October.
A lot has changed since 1977 when Suspiria was first released, however. Special effects are better, storytelling is more complex, and audience expectations are entirely different. Still, over four decades after its initial release, Argento’s Suspiria manages to hold up. Here are three reasons why you need to see the original.
1. Argento was a master using color and lightItalian horror films were known for their exquisite use of lighting and their vivid colors. Argento was a master of this and his influence can be seen in such legendary filmmakers as David Lynch, David Cronenberg and John Carpenter. The Suspiria remake looks like it will have an interesting color palette to it, however it is unlikely that it will have Argento’s unique flair.
Use of color in Argento’s Suspiria is breathtaking. The lush reds and deep blues are what the movie is most famous for, but there is also great use of green and multicolored patterns add to the often overlooked interior design. The seamless transitions between bright lights and complete darkness also stand out.
2. Goblin’s music still holds up
One of the things that Suspiria is most known for is it’s atmospheric soundtrack. Done by prog rock band, Goblin, the music sets the tone for the movie right from the beginning and never lets up. A mix that is sometimes tribal sometimes childlike and always frightening, the music is as important a part of Suspiria as Argento’s unique direction. The music is ahead of its time with heavy synths that would foreshadow the slasher films of the 1980s. The actresses in the movie would also sometimes seem to be moving to the music adding to the entire film’s atmosphere. The look of Suspiria may be what it is most known for, but the music is absolutely unforgettable.
Thom Yorke will be handling the score for the remake and if anyone can compose a soundtrack the holds up to the original, it would be the Radiohead frontman.
3. Argento’s original idea didn’t quite make it to the screen
Argento had a slightly different idea when he originally began filming Suspiria. While the story was essentially the same, his stated goal was to make a live action Snow White or Alice in Wonderland. To that end, he wanted to cast 12-year-olds in the key roles. Understandably, studio heads did not quite agree with Argento’s vision. The director capitulated and decided to cast actresses with small frames. This can be seen throughout the movie as doors, rooms, and buildings look absolutely enormous and sometimes actions and words of the cast have an almost child like innocence to that. While knowing Argento’s plan does not change the quality, it adds an interesting perspective to the movie’s feel.
Dario Argento’s Suspiria is an undeniable classic. Over four decades later, the movie still holds up and anybody planning on watching the remake should make it a point to see the original.