Suspiria ★★★★½

Years ago I attempted to watch this on an old, slightly beat up dvd. Unfortunately, my copy was at the end of its days and I wasn't able to watch the whole thing. Tonight, I've finally righted that wrong with the help of a gorgeous 4K restoration on blu-ray from Synapse.

Here are a few thoughts on my experience:

Suspiria, in a word, is...haunting. But not just ghost story "haunting," or spirits in an old home "haunting". In stepping away from the crime mysteries which made him famous, Dario Argento entered the world of the supernatural like a pro, crafting a truly haunting nightmare of a film that dares to resist reality and horror conventions alike.

The colors, the sounds, the filming of this movie, all add up to something akin to an acid-induced fever dream, and it's incredibly effective at creative tone and atmosphere, and perhaps above all, a style of its own. Of course, while the narrative of Suspiria is more of a vehicle than an emotionally rewarding journey, I believe there's something to be said of this film's approach to storytelling. Reactions are elicited through visuals in the frame. Sounds and music guide us through the world. Colors mesmerize and heighten the feeling of something constantly being afoot. The creation of constant dread and suspense is an impressive feat here, and the exploration of the protagonist's state of mind through formal elements as the movie unfolds is a bold choice.

I would say, what becomes most clear about this film is that Suspiria is first and foremost a piece of art. A Technicolor wonderland of horror that still made me jump a few times and grabbed my attention with every passing frame. So even if it might not have the most depth of any scary movie I've seen, I can't see it ever becoming a boring film to watch. Great art is great art, and taking it in is part of the fun.

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