The film ‘Suspiria’ is quite a simple story but the cinematography is far from simple. The film creates suspense, thrill and mystery simply by using its environment and camera angles. "Suspiria is considered by many to be the best work ever by Dario Argento. The use of lighting, camera angles, close-up and music (performed by The Goblins with input from Argento himself) create a sinister and surreal shroud of dread and angst." (Suspiria 1977 Review, by Mike on May 3rd 2016)
Suzy Bannion is a young ballerina who travels to Germany and joins a prestigious dance academy. As she arrives at the location she meets a young girl running, screaming away from the building. This girl is subsequently found murdered and so the scene is set. Suzy quickly realises that something sinister is going on.
Film Producer, Dario Argento powerfully uses colour and in so doing turns the horror on the screen into something beautiful and artistic to watch. The images bring about a fantasy like quality to the film. "And then there's Argento's masterful use of deep primary colours — the sets are bathed in garish red and green light (he acquired 1950s Technicolor stock to get the effect) giving the whole film a hallucinatory intensity." (Adam Smith, on 14 Oct 2016)
Fig. 2 Suspiria (film still)
It is almost possible to predict that a murder is going to happen, simply because of the way that the colour fades and the music alters. The music plays a significant role in the production and creates an ethereal effect. "The delirious Goblin composition that accompanies the film's opening scene brings to mind the sounds of a little girl's ballerina music box. A narrator's voice is barely audible over the soundtrack, which plays atop the standard white-on-black credits." (Ed Gonzalez. August 27, 2001)
I have already alluded to the death scenes. As equally as they are horrific, they are also impressive. Argento’s clever use of shadow and lighting on the building hides the real sense of impending doom whilst at the same time exaggerates the evil that is taking place.
Fig. 3 Suspiria (film still)
You almost need to watch this film twice as if I wasn’t looking out for the way in which the film was set, a lot of the technical skill would have gone unnoticed. Illustration list:
Figure. 1 Susperia (poster art) https://www.bing.com/images/search?q=suspiria+film+&view=detailv2&&id=EF91F399A83D2A057A724B96233F218B3628643F&selectedIndex=2&ccid=db8TpMck&simid=608028411028244181&thid=OIP.M75bf13a4c724b3bdc56fbc4dc88f5bd2H0&ajaxhist=0
(accessed on 8 December 2016)
Figure. 2 Susperia (film still)
(accessed on 8 December 2016)
Figure. 3 Susperia (film still) https://www.bing.com/images/search?q=suspiria+film+&view=detailv2&&id=20E2B66DF9E200BD627C1CBCCE8F2F8906F22B33&selectedIndex=0&ccid=balQHLA5&simid=608017613479019154&thid=OIP.M6da9501cb039cc556bd6b93a80cbce69o0&ajaxhist=0
(accessed on 8 December 2016) Bibliography: Suspiria 1977 Review, by Mike on May 3rd 2016 In: Horror Freak News [online] At: URL: http://horrorfreaknews.com/suspiria-1977-review (accessed on 8 December 2016) Suspiria Review Adam Smith, on 14 Oct 2016 In: Empire [online] At: URL: http://www.empireonline.com/movies/suspiria/review/ (accessed on 8 December 2016)
Suspiria Ed Gonzalez, August 27, 2001 In: Slant Magazine [online] At: URL: http://www.slantmagazine.com/film/review/suspiria (accessed on 8 December 2016)