‘Suspiria,’ in review

Italian horror film brings back witchcraft for Halloween

More stories from Elizabeth Gosling



Suzy Bannion is the main character in “Suspiria”, the film in Woodland Theater this weekend.

Mystery is always lurking where you least expect it.

In the Italian horror film “Suspiria,” Suzy Bannion (Jessica Harper) is the newest dancer at the Tans Academy, a prestigious school for dance. On a night of pouring rain, she arrives in Freiburg, Germany to begin her journey.

When she arrives at the academy, a frightened girl runs out of the door, mumbling secrets and words about blue iris flowers, leaving Suzy confused.

Meanwhile, the girl goes to a friend’s house where her friend expresses concern about her, asking questions but not receiving any answers. She is easily frightened, even the blowing wind scares her. Before you know it, she is dead.

More events start to add to the suspicion. Suzy finds herself feeling queasy after walking past a cook polishing a sharp golden knife, gazing at her with an unwavering stare.

After fainting in dance class, the school puts the newcomer on a regimented diet consisting of wine and other food.

Suzy and her close friend Sara (Stefania Casini) feel something is in the air, and the two begin looking for evidence to figure out what it is. Sara starts making notes about the mysterious events, but then they disappear.

Past the halfway point in the film, Sara goes missing, so Suzy starts investigating.

Overall, the backstory makes the plot even more real. The founder of the academy, Helena Markus was believed to be a witch in the founding stages of the school. After Sara’s disappearance, Suzy follows her footsteps into the mysteries of the dark school’s past.

“Suspiria” was intriguing from start to finish. Trap doors, gross bugs and bats make the film a classic Halloween movie.

Throughout the film, several murders reveal graphic imagery of how the people died. Stabs through the heart made the film gory with lots of blood stains.

The film was released in the autumn of 1977 in multiple languages, including Russian, German and Latin. It is rated R for scenes of bloody gore, brutal violence, disturbing images and brief language.

Dario Argento directed, wrote and acted as the narrator in “Suspiria.” The film is said to be Argento’s masterpiece because of the simple plot and captivating nature. The director’s interest in horror came from his aunt, who told him frightening bedtime stories.

“Suspiria” received nominations for the Saturn Award at the Academy of Science Fiction, Horror and Fantasy Films, USA. In 1978, Joan Bennett (who played Madame Blanc the vice president of the academy) was nominated for Best Supporting Actress. The second nomination was in 2002 for the Best DVD Classic Film Release.

The film will be playing at 7 p.m. on Friday, 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. on Saturday and 2 p.m. on Sunday in the Woodland Theater in Davies Student Center.