Mar 152018

What Suspiria lacks in substance, both in terms of story and characters, it more than makes up for in incredible and beautiful production design and lighting, as well as some well-tensed scenes.



— Two-Disc Blu-ray Edition —

Genre(s): Horror, Thriller
Synapse Films | NR – 98 min. – $43.95 | March 13, 2018

Date Published: 03/15/2018 | Author: The Movieman

Directed by: Dario Argento
Writer(s): Dario Argento and Daria Nicolodi (screenplay)
Cast: Jessica Harper, Stefania Casini, Flavid Bucci, Miguel Bose, Barbara Magnolfi, Susanna Javicoli, Udo Kier, Alida Valli, Joan Bennett
Features: Audio Commentaries, Featurettes, Trailers, TV Spots, Radio Spots
Digital Copy: No
Formats Included: Blu-ray
Number of Discs: 2
Audio: English (DTS-HD MA 4.0), Italian (DTS-HD MA 5.1)
Video: 1080p/Widescreen 2.39
Subtitles: English
Disc Size: NA
Codecs: MPEG-4 AVC
Region(s): A


THE MOVIE — 4.0/5

Plot Synopsis: Suzy (JESSICA HARPER) travels to Germany to attend ballet school. When she arrives, late on a stormy night, no one lets her in, and she sees Pat (EVA AXEN), another student, fleeing from the school. When Pat reaches her apartment, she is murdered. The next day, Suzy is admitted to her new school, but has a difficult time settling in. She hears noises, and often feels ill. As more people die, Suzy uncovers the terrifying secret history of the place.

Review: For one reason or another, I had never seen Suspiria, though I have certainly heard of it but never even owned a copy. And now finally viewing this Italian cult classic… it’s pretty damn good, albeit more style over substance. This is a visually striking movie where director Dario Argento and his cinematographer Luciano Tovoli utilize brilliant and bright colors that just were striking and gives the film a unique flare before it became vogue in the 1980s and then revitalized in recent years in paying homage to that decade.

Now, as for the movie itself, where it was visually appealing, the character development was lackluster, the English dubbing (I assume) downright bad and distracting though the lead actress Jessica Harper did a fine job with a rather limited character. The story also is a bit razor thin and there were some plot elements that didn’t make a whole lot of sense like why exactly Suzy was so important in the end. Plus, there’s a young Udo Kier who pops in just to provide some (clunky) exposition.

However, even with the uninspiring characters or a thin story, it made up with some genuine suspense and thrills where Argento really is in his element and the kills were utterly brutal, even graphic, at least for the time period (today some might find it tame). Suspiria was a thrilling rollercoaster ride that probably made me more appreciative of Dario Argento even more so than before.



Audio Commentaries:

  • Argento Scholar Troy Howorth
  • Argento Scholar Derek Botelho and Film Scholar David Del Valle

As you might imagine, these are pretty professorial or academic however quite interesting, each participant offering up the history on not only just Suspiria but Dario Argento and his style.

A Sigh from the Depths: 40 Years of Suspiria (27:07; HD) – This retrospective featurette looks back at the cult classic film and examines its influences and includes interviews with film historians and Argento experts.

Do You Know Anything About Witches? (30:06; HD) is a visual essay by Michael Mackenzie.

Suzy and Nazi Germany (8:01; HD) looks at the German locations used with footage and a narrator discussing the history from the Nazi era.

Olga’s Story (17:14; HD) is a new interview with actress Barbara Magnolfi.

International Classics “Breathing Letters” (1:41; HD) is the original U.S. release opening credits sequence.

Rounding things out there are three Original Theatrical Trailers (4:29; HD), three Original U.S. Television Spots (1:46; HD) and five Original U.S. Radio Spots (2:23; HD).


VIDEO – 5.0/5

This is I have to assume a long-awaited restoration for Suspiria, scanned at 4K resolution from the original uncut, uncensored 35mm Italian camera negative and man does it indeed look absolutely gorgeous. The colors are incredibly vibrant and contrasted quite well against the deep blacks. This is an amazingly stylized movie that really takes excellent advantage of the high-definition format. Detail itself is sharp throughout and I did not notice any noticeable instances of aliasing, artifacting, dust marks or scratches.

AUDIO – 4.5/5

There are two options available: the original 4.0 English language LCRS mix presented here in DTS-HD MA and an Italian DTS-HD MA 5.1 option, either one a solid option outputting both crisp and clear dialogue but where these tracks really come to life is with the marvelous score by “Goblin” and Dario Argento. The tracks don’t betray any white noise or any other aural flaws and any pops and hisses were apparently removed.


OVERALL – 4.0/5

What Suspiria lacks in substance, both in terms of story and characters, it more than makes up for in incredible and beautiful production design and lighting, as well as some well-tensed scenes. This new Blu-ray edition offers beautiful video and audio transfers and some respectable bonus material.





Check out some more 1080p screen caps by going to page 2. Please note, these do contain spoilers.

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