Review: Suspiria

Blu-ray: Suspiria (1977)

This 40th anniversary edition Blu-ray of the Dario Argento classic ‘Suspiria‘ is an absolute treat in both its picture quality (from a new 4K scan) and content. Having owned various releases dating back to good old VHS and numerous DVD versions, this Blu-ray from Umbrella Entertainment had me in awe at the clarity and colours that played out before me. We’re not a ‘techie’ site that goes in depth about bit rates and colour gamuts etc (there are sites that can do it far better than us), but I have to point out how impressed I was at the picture AND sound quality in this release.

Surely you’re all familiar with Suspiria by now? If not, why haven’t you watched it in the last 40 years!? Standing as one of Argento’s all time best, and let’s face it, he has a LOT of great movies in his oeuvre, Suspiria is a wild visual and auditory ride that sweeps you along through its entire running time.

Suzy Bannion (Jessica Harper) travels to a prestigious German ballet academy, and upon arrival in the pouring rain sees a female run away from the building. The next day she discovers that the fleeing woman is now dead. This is just the beginning of more mysterious disappearances, and Suzy, despite the onset of a strange illness which has befallen her since her arrival, begins to investigate what could be behind it all. She uncovers stories of a witches coven…surely it is not THAT which is behind everything!?

The narrative of Suspiria may not be the strongest, but you can’t help but be enthralled as everything plays out before you. Strong use of primary colours pop from the screen as lavish sets are bathed in reds, greens and blues, all accompanied by Argento’s trademark sweeping camera moves which adds to the rhythmic motion of the ballet dancers. The 2:35:1 widescreen frame is filled with details that warrant repeated viewings, and when the kills happen, you can’t help but be locked to the screen as the horrific events unfold.

The music score by Goblin is glorious and warrants you turning up your sound system to the maximum…to hell with the neighbours! The score washes across you like an auditory brain massage, alternating between heart pounding moments of sheer terror, to times of almost silence when you find yourself hanging on to every note, waiting for that moment when you know the pace is inevitably going to pick up again. I absolutely LOVE Goblin…can you tell!?

Suspiria is an all time classic and deserves to be in every cinephiles collection, and you can’t get much better than this version. Make sure to watch it before this years remake!

There are a plethora of superb special features which add even more value to this excellent release. Kudos to Umbrella Entertainment for yet another ‘must buy’ addition to their catalogue.

SPECIAL FEATURES:

  • High-Definition 1080p transfer sourced from a new 4K restoration
  • ‘Suspiria’ told by Dario Argento: An interview with Dario Argento and Nick Vivarelli on Suspiria’s 40th anniversary
  • 25th anniversary Suspiria documentary
  • Exclusive interview with Dario Argento (2004)
  • ‘Fear at 400 Degrees’: The cine-excess of Suspiria documentary
  • “An Eye For Horror’ documentary
  • ‘Dario Argento’s World of Horror’ documenraty
  • Image Gallery
  • Theatrical Trailers
  • TV and Radio spots
  • Dario Argento trailer reel (1970 – 2009)

Review by Dave (host of 60 Minutes With) from a disc kindly supplied by Umbrella Entertainment.