NOTE: This review is part of THE FINAL GIRL FILM CLUB. If you have not experienced the wonder that is STACIE PONDER get over there right quick! She’s not only whip-smart she’s the final word on all things horror! 

When Suzy Bannion (doe-eyed JESSICA HARPER) arrives at the prestigious Freeborge Dance Academy in Germany, she minuets her way down a fluorescent rabbit hole into a psychedelic universe the likes of which have never been seen before or since. DARIO ARGENTO’s bizarre, sometimes draw-dropping visual creation pulsates with a supernatural power one usually only finds in fairy tales and the work of Disney. The slightly off dubbing and trance like delivery of the bordering on nonsensical lines only further convince the viewer that SUSPIRIA is more celluloid fever dream than traditional movie. Hypnotic, filled with countless visual flourishes and subliminal asides, SUSPIRIA is unquestionably a technical marvel. Behind the curtain of aesthetic brilliance though, stands real terror. The amazing opening sequence powered by the haunting audio howls of GOBLIN delivers one of the most nerve shattering introductions in the history of horror film. It alerts the viewer immediately to the fact that they are not only not in Kansas anymore, but they may be standing over the precipice to an unfriendly phantasmagoric universe where it’ll take a lot more than H20 to take down the wicked witch. Multiple viewings are not recommended but required, as there is just no human way to absorb the entire onslaught in one sitting. As with other great works of art, SUSPIRA is almost a living thing, it grows, morphs and expands with each passing year. Plus there’s maggots.


  • Make sure there are seatbelts in that taxicab HARPER, the symphony that is the opening to SUSPIRIA is a real head rocker
  • The M.C. ESCHER wallpaper
  • Close up of knife in heart
  • Maggot rain
  • Landing safely in a pile of…barbed wire!
  • The missing gargoyle and the blind man’s dog
  • The creepy kid and the maid
  • Don’t knock over that peacock lamp!



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15 years ago

A missing gargoyle, you say?! I AM going to have to watch this again!

14 years ago

I never actually saw this, but I almost crapped my pants when I saw the trailer…that woman brushing her hair and turning round to reveal the dead skull face!

14 years ago

The first 5 minutes are the scariest part of the movie! A lot of people kvetch that they should’ve saved that great stuff for the finale (and, yeah, the finale IS disappointing) but I love the beginning of the movie. That score is off the hook! And the first death? Yikes! One of the scariest (If not THE #1 scariest) things I have ever seen in a movie. This is the ONLY movie I have ever turend off because it was “Too scary”!

14 years ago

I have to admit that when I first saw this on VHS back in the late 80’s I was disappointed.  Why?  Well back in 77 I was one of those Gen-Xers who were TRAUMATIZED buy the TV trailer for the movie.  You know, “Skull Lady”!  Well, when this came out on VHS in the late 80’s I rented it thinking that I was going to confront the movie that wrecked my childhood.  OK, the murder at the beginning was a “Holy S**T!” moment as was that scene with the seeing eye dog!  But, like others, I found the ending to be a letdown and to top it all off THERE WAS NO SKULL LADY IN THIS!!!!  WTF!?!  When this movie came out on DVD earlier in this decade I decided to get it and now the movie has grown on me.  That Goblin soundtrack has to be blasted through a good home ent. system!  Creepy!  Those over saturated reds!  I don’t want to give anymore away but this movie is worth it!  The DVD even has the “Skull Lady” trailer!  WOOHOO!!!!

Drew Bludd
Drew Bludd
9 years ago

Like it a lot more upon second viewing (and, truthfully, upon replaying it over and over in my head).

I was lucky enough to have first experienced ‘Suspiria’ on the big screen (not in its original run but a two house theatre near me plays midnight monster movies on the weekends).

While I think that the film is visually stunning (Argento is like David Lynch in that some shots are like beautiful still paintings and plot be damned), I do think areas are severely lacking so its not “perfect.”

For one – who has a room full of barbed wire anyway? Would even maniac witches waste a whole room on the idea that maybe one day someone will fall in?