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Great Scenes – SUSPIRIA

Dario Argento is one of the undisputed masters of giallo shlock film and this movie is far and away his crowning achievement. The film follows Suzy Bannion (Jessica Harper), a young American who has come to Germany to study ballet at a private boarding school, only to discover that behind it’s baroque exterior lies a gruesome secret from which she may never escape. From the stunning Art Nouveau set design to the psychedelic lighting schemes to Goblin’s ominous, thundering soundtrack, this film represents the creative high-water mark for 80’s Italian horror. While every scene is beautiful and hypnotic in it’s own right, it’s the film’s first death scene that really grabs the viewer by the throat and demonically whispers into their ear of the impending horrors that will haunt their dreams for weeks to come. We first meet the unlucky victim upon Suzy’s arrival at the school, from which the soon-to-be-dead girl is fleeing after having discovered the hidden evils that lurk in it’s halls. She arrives at her friend’s house and tries to calm herself down, little suspecting that she is about die in one of the most excessive fashions ever put to celluloid. Argento and legendary cinematographer Luciano Tovoli took what could have been just another gore-filled death scene and infused it with a symmetry and  sense of balance that elevates it to the level of modern art in motion.

(If you enjoyed that clip, then you had better get down on your knees and pray like hell that the planned remake never gets off the ground.)

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May 19, 2011   No Comments

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