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  • Gareth Crook

Suspiria (1977)

I’m not a horror aficionado, but right from the outset this hooked me. The colour, the music, the menace, it’s fantastic, if not a little cheap in places. The opening scenes treated differently could feature in The Rocky Horror Picture Show, but this isn’t campy schlock (although I do love Rocky Horror), it’s much weirder, a psychedelic, kaleidoscopic, technicolor nightmare. Set in a German dance academy with a bunch of bitchy ballet students and snooty tutors seems like an odd stage, but old Bavarian buildings filled with wooden floors, gothic arches, billowing curtains and heavy European accents against the innocent American lead fits the 1970s take on the supernatural rather well. Ultimately it feels more silly than scary, but it’s style is it’s savior as the boarding school facade slips to reveal its demonic reality. The music is as, if not more important than the cinematography and I believe there’s a recent remake with score from Thom Yorke that I now have to check out. If he’s done half as good a job it’ll be a must listen/watch. Perhaps the remake will feature some slightly better fake blood... I don’t think I’ve ever seen so much red paint in a 90 minute film. That’s not the point here though, this is dialed up Horror fiction, perhaps slightly of its time, but in no way diminished.



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