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Suspiria

✭ ✭ ✭ ✭   Read critic reviews

Italy

1977

Rated R • 1h 39m

Director Dario Argento

Starring Jessica Harper, Stefania Casini, Flavio Bucci, Miguel Bosé

Genre Horror

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In this cult classic, Suzy is an American ballet dancer who moves to Germany to attend the prestigious Tanz Academy. Like any newcomer, she has a hard time settling in. But as strange and sinister things begin to occur, Suzy learns that the ballet school has a terrifying past — and present…

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WHAT ARE PEOPLE SAYING?

Kelsey Thomas Profile picture for Kelsey Thomas

A genuinely terrifying horror film full of tension and visceral scares. Dario Argento’s artistry comes through even during the more grisly scenes. If you find all the action onscreen too scary — which is likely! — you can at least appreciate (or distract yourself with) the mise en scène.

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WHAT ARE CRITICS SAYING?

80

TV Guide Magazine by

The original ad campaign boasted that the only thing more terrifying than the last five minutes of SUSPIRIA were the first 90. Actually, it's the first 15 minutes that contain some of the most frightening footage ever committed to celluloid, but why quibble.
100

The Playlist by Bradley Warren

As visceral and invigorating as classics like “Deep Red” or “The Bird with the Crystal Plumage” might be, they aren’t a patch on 1977’s Suspiria.
60

Chicago Reader by Dave Kehr

Dario Argento's grossly overstated mise-en-scene adds some perverse interest to this routine (if unusually gory) horror film from 1976. Argento works so hard for his effects—throwing around shock cuts, colored lights, and peculiar camera angles—that it would be impolite not to be a little frightened
100

Slant Magazine by Ed Gonzalez

Argento’s deliriously artificial horror film owes as much to Georges Méliès and German Expressionism (specifically The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari) as it does to Jean Cocteau and Grimm fairy tales. =
40

Washington Post by Gary Arnold

A ridiculously self-indulgent spree of satanic bogeymannerisms entitled Suspiria, virtually self-destructs in the opening sequence. Eager to menace the audience from every sensory direction, Argento doesn't so much create and sustain an illusion of terror as invite you to marvel at his garish ingenuity, at the spectacle of a filmmaker who can't resist overstylizing and upstaging his material.
90

Village Voice by J. Hoberman

A veteran of Richard Foreman’s Ontological-Hysteric Theater, the deadpan Harper puts her training to good use, gracefully eluding the attacking furniture and skillfully dodging the imploding set, as she flees—arms protectively crossed before her face—out into the night.
70

The New York Times by Janet Maslin

Mr. Argento's methods make potentially stomach-turning material more interesting than it ought to be. Shooting on bold, very fake-looking sets, he uses bright primary colors and stark lines to create a campy, surreal atmosphere, and his distorted camera angles and crazy lighting turn out to be much more memorable than the carnage.
100

RogerEbert.com by Peter Sobczynski

Suspiria truly is one of the absolute classics of the horror genre and anyone who considers themselves to be true students of the cinema owe it to themselves to experience it for themselves, especially if they get a chance to see it on the big screen where it belong.

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