Jessica's September Pick



    My first experience with Dario Argento’s 1977 Italian supernatural horror classic Suspiria was over seven years ago when I watched it for the first time with Kelly. She had come to Ottawa for a visit and after a long day of exploring the city we sat down to watch the horror film of my choice. Kelly had seen it before and fell asleep through most of the film, however, I was entranced and was completely sucked into the story, acting, cinematography, and score. It was my first foray into Italian horror and even though it would take a few more years for me to fully explore the sub-genre, this film made quite the impression on me even before I identified myself as a fan of horror.


     If you haven’t seen Suspiria yet, then get on it. It is a classic of the horror genre and representative of what Italian horror has to offer.  A film by Dario Argento Suspiria is about an American ballet student Suzy Banner who transfers to a prestigious dance academy in Germany. But after a series of brutal murders soon realizes that the academy is a front for a coven of witches. Suspiria is the first of a trilogy known as The Three Mothers, which comprises of Inferno (1980) and The Mother of Tears (2007).  It is the most successful of Argento's films and has received critical acclaim for it’s visual and stylistic flair, the use of vibrant colours and score performed by the progressive rock band Goblin. I get chills every time I hear the intro to Suspiria and I was fortunate last year to see Goblin perform the score live while the film was playing. 

     As well, I am fully aware of the 2018 remake by Luca Guadagnino and the controversy that surrounds it in the horror community. People either love or hate this remake. I will admit that when I heard about it being made and about the casting, I had my doubts. However, when I finally got an opportunity to watch it, I fell in love with it. To me, the 2018 movie is not a remake but a reimagining inspired by the original. Both movies have unique styles in telling a very similar and impactful story about witches in the modern world. Just as the score for the original Suspiria is incredible, so to is the one for the 2018 film. The score was composed by Radiohead singer, Thom Yorke, who took inspiration from krautrock (experimental rock from West Germany in the late 60s and early 70s bands such as Faust, Tangerine Dream, and Harmonia). 

     I don't want to say too much about either of these films because I feel that they need to be experienced. I recommend to set yourself up in a dark room and turn up the volume because you are in for a real visual and audio treat.