Suspiria (1977)

Genres - Horror  |   Sub-Genres - Gothic Film, Supernatural Horror  |   Run Time - 97 min.  |   Countries - Italy  |   MPAA Rating - NR
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One of the most striking assaults on the senses ever to be committed to celluloid, legendary Italian horror master Dario Argento's Suspiria will certainly affect viewers whether they like it or not. Unleashed in 1977 to unsuspecting audiences worldwide, this unrelenting tale of the supernatural was -- and likely still is -- the closest a filmmaker has come to capturing a nightmare on film. Even in the eviscerated form in which Suspiria was initially released in most parts of the world (it has since been restored to its original, uncut form) its ability to create a profound feeling of unease is undeniable. Likewise, despite the fact that Suspiria is a film that virtually begs to be seen on the big screen, it remains remarkably potent when viewed on home video if proper measures are taken (viewing the film at the loudest possible volume, preferably with a surround sound stereo is highly recommended). It's reported that while filming, Argento blasted Goblin's supremely menacing score to create a feeling of unease in the actors that would ultimately carry over into the psyche of the audience. A near experimental collage of whispers, sighs, and various other sounds placed against the backdrop of shivering strings and throbbing bass, Goblin's contribution is as essential to the film's impact as Argento's stylistic and unflinching direction. The titular theme, a melodic composition that recalls a childhood lullaby haunted by a sickly voice, is one of the most effective and unforgettable tunes in horror history.