Murder isn’t pretty, but Suspiria is (Review of Suspiria)

First off, I apologize for my long absence.  I have in no way, shape, or form given up on horror reviewing, watching and snarking.  I just had to do some “life” things first – like have guests stay over…guests who don’t love horror the way I do…and who perhaps might not have appreciated my house being super dirty.  Anyway, I’m back and hopefully will not be interrupted for some time now.  Anyway, I digress.  As interesting as my personal life is, I will get on to what we’re all really here for: a review of the 1977 classic horror, Suspiria.

I think I’m about to commit horror fanatic blasphemy by saying this, but…such is life.  I didn’t like Suspiria.  Like…not at all.  For YEARS now, that has been one of the films that I always want to watch, never get around to, am super excited for, etc.  Maybe that was my problem.  Maybe the film was too hyped up.  I mean, it’s almost always on top horror lists, it’s always one of those “must-sees” for horror aficionados.  It’s just supposed to be groundbreaking and intense.  I found it odd, confusing, and rather bland.

It's like Alice in Wonderland...except in Hell

The one thing that is consistently talked about in reviews of this film that I do agree with is that it is shockingly beautiful.  I will admit that I am of a rare breed of people who thinks horror films can often have some beauty to them (like the scene in The Exorcist where Merrin steps out of the car in front of the MacNeil’s home – it consistently takes my breath away).

Why is there a whole room full of razor wire in a dance academy? How does that make any sense?

But I think even the most gore squeamish, horror hating person would have to admit that Argento’s film has an immense amount of artistry to it.  The colors are spectacularly vibrant and the lighting is powerful while not being over the top.  Even the death scenes have a sort of creative beauty to them, in the midst of, you know, the death and the blood and the dying by getting caught in a bunch of razor wire.

Umm...question before I kill you - why the hell did you kill the blind guy and how was that at all relevant to the "story"?

But that’s about it, in my opinion.  The story was fairly weak and contrived.  For the majority of the film, I was just confused.  Not in that “ooo, I don’t know where this is going but I’m intrigued” sort of way.  More in the “wtf is this crap?” sort of way.  There was no indication of what was going on and no real intrigue to make the audience even begin to question or hypothesize what was going on.  By the time some explanation was given, it seemed so forced and stilted that I really just didn’t care anymore.

So I just don’t get it and how it’s so freaking acclaimed.  I mean…I guess I would sort of recommend it to people as long as you know what you’re getting in to.  If you know that Suspiria makes no sense, that doesn’t have a good plot, that it’s very poorly written, and that even when it tries to have a point at the end, it pretty much fails miserably, you might sort of like it.  It is really cool looking.  I actually quite enjoyed the movie whenever there was a creative death scene going on.  Maybe Argento should have just strung together a bunch of really cool, pretty murders with no attempt at plot – it would have probably been slightly more entertaining and only very slightly more random and confusing.  But to be consistently in top lists of horror films?  Hells to the no.  Cool deaths do not a great horror film make (could someone PLEASE pass that message on to the makers of the Saw movies?)  It takes a lot more than that to be one of the greats.

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3 Responses to “Murder isn’t pretty, but Suspiria is (Review of Suspiria)”

  1. Suspiria sucks. Dario Argento sucks. Big time. I don’t get why horror fans like this guy. He is the biggest hack of all time. I tried watching another movie of his a while back to give him a second chance and ended up turning it off about 15 minutes in.

  2. You didn’t mention the ear piercing ear-bleeding-inducive soundtrack that people praise and hold on a pedalstool. I got like 5 minutes into Suspiria (I did finish it mind you) before having to turn my stereo down cause the annoying “masterpiece” of a soundtrack almost blew my speakers out, but it doesn’t end there, no sir, the main girl gets into the taxi in the beginning, and starts shouting at the taxi driver but he can’t hear her over the rain, meanwhile this music is playing, and you’re literally waiting for one of the Rifftrack guys to go “WHA?! HUH?! I CAN’T HEAR YOU OVER THE GUY HAVING A SEIZURE ON THE SYNTH!” because the taxi driver and the chick literally start going “WHA? Huh?” and you can’t hear either of them over the music, and this persists throughout the entire movie… What gets to me the most though, is unlike Suspiria, Argento’s Deep Red was actually a decent movie, with an AMAZING soundtrack that actually sounded fucking phenomenal. Especially when the drumming and bass kick in. It didn’t fit with the movie mind you, its like somebody spliced the movie with a Jimmi Hendrix album. But I like hendrix, and Deep Red had one hell of a groovy soundtrack.

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