Thursday, 11 December 2014

Film Review: Suspiria (1977)

Figure 1: Movie Poster

Suspiria (1977) is a film directed by Dario Argento and is an iconic horror film. this film will stick with you forever for its impressive set and production design that makes it stand out. The story is about a young American ballet student  called Suzy Bannion (Jessica Harper) from New York who has arrived at a European ballet academy where she is forced to stay and live in the academy by a series of unfortunate events involving other pupils. as the film progresses the death toll raises and suspicions of witchery rise.

Figure 2: strong use-age of lighting to create atmosphere still

Theclever production design and the chilling soundtrack which was produced by an Italian band called "Goblin" creates an atmosphere throughout the film that makes a great deal of tension. Jennie Kermode says "This is horror shot with dazzling energy yet with the visual depth and acuity of a Renaissance painting. Those who doubt the artistic potential of the horror genre should be nailed down and made to watch it." (Kermode, 2008). which infers that the film uses its great lighting and set design to create stunning imagery.

Figure 3: a shot showing use of red

 "it is so incredibly stylised"(Dobbs, 2012). Dobbs  could be inferring that the entire movie has a style that builds upon the use of colour, The Building in 'figure 3.' is a good example of this, when danger is low the building is a dull burgundy colour, however when things start to get tense the vibrancy is dramatically increased and makes the scene allot more sinister.

Figure 4. Ballet students sleeping in the dance studio

Suspiria is an impressive film setting itself apart from the generic films of its genre with its over used use of the colour, Jackson Buchanan says "this unrelenting tale of the supernatural was - and likely still is - the closest a film maker has come to capturing a nightmare on film." (Buchanan, s.d.) one could say that this is as accurate description as you could get, the film feels oddly dreamlike and surreal in the way its designed and is a real test on your emotions.

Illustration List

Figure 1:[accessed 12/12/14]

Figure 2:[accessed 12/12/14]

Figure 3:[accessed 12/12/14]

Figure 4:[accessed 12/12/14]


J Kermode Eye for Film 2008:[accessed 12/12/14]

Dobbs, S.(2012)'Looking back at Dario Argento Suspiria' In Den of Geek[Online] At:[accessed 12/12/14]

Buchanan all movie:[accessed 12/12/14]


  1. Hi Jamie,

    See my previous comments re font size!

    Also, don't forget to italicise all your quotes - some you have and some you haven't. Make sure that you use capital letters at the start of new sentences - it's all these little things that detract from the professionalism of your writing.
    Good analysis of the use of colour though! :)