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Jessica Harper, Joan Bennett, Alida Valli, Stefania Casini, Margherita Horowitz ... see more see more... , Susanna Javicoli , Giuseppe Transocchi , Renato Zamengo , Flavio Bucci , Miguel Bosé , Barbara Magnolfi , Eva Axen , Rudolf Schündler , Udo Kier , Fulvio Mingozzi , Franca Scognetti , Renato Scarpa

A candy-colored nightmare from Italian terror maestro Dario Argento, Suspiria weaves a menacing tale of witchcraft as a fairy tale gone horribly awry. From the moment she arrives in Freiberg, Germany,... read more read more... to attend the prestigious Tans Academy, American ballet-dancer Suzy Banyon (Jessica Harper) senses that something horribly evil lurks within the walls of the age-old institution. Ill at ease as the result of her fellow student's peculiar behavior and increasingly terrified following a series of gruesome and spectacular murders, Suzy slowly begins to unravel the dark history of the academy. Convinced that the occult roots of the school and the horrific tale of its founding mother may hold an unthinkable secret, she begins a hallucinatory journey into the black heart of one of the most powerful witches ever known to exist. As Suzy edges ever closer to a secret that may hold the answers to all of her nightmares, the coven's grip on her soul begins to tighten until there is seemingly no escape. Will Suzy solve the mystery of the cursed academy before the fearsome Black Queen consumes her, or will she finally reveal the secret that has forever haunted the lavish corridors of the academy and bring an end to the Black Queen's terrifying reign? ~ Jason Buchanan, Rovi

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84% liked it

34,173 ratings


95% liked it

40 critics

R, 1 hr. 37 min.

Directed by: Dario Argento

Release Date: February 1, 1977

Keywords: horror

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DVD Release Date: September 11, 2001

Stats: 3,142 reviews

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Flixster Reviews (3,142)

  • March 29, 2014
    Dario Argento's most popular film is a must-see for seasoned horror fans. The violence is extreme, it's astoundingly creepy, beautifully filmed, and Goblins' score is one of the best film scores of all time. The only setback is the low production value and clearly dubbed audio, b... read moreut don't let that stop you from experiencing this iconic work of the horror genre.
  • April 25, 2013
    I'd forgotten about watching this years ago, it was among many forgotten rotten VHS films that I knew probably were good but the picture quality was not. So, I watched it on glorious Blu-ray the other day and wow. Just wow. The bright colours are hypnotic. It puts to rest the ide... read morea that all good horror films are all darkness and shadows. The constant ghostly moaning shouldn't work either but it does, very much so, the whole film lures you in and captivates you. The first murder scene is just terrifying, even more so because you feel like you're there. The ultimate combination of art and horror, just amazing.
  • November 4, 2012
    Classic horror by Dario Argento. The film is quite mesmerizing with Argento's brilliant use of lighting and cinematography which creates an eerie mood well accompanied by Goblin's brilliant soundtrack. The use of chimes in horror seems to quietly get you. Argento's use of rain is... read more just one of those things that stands out to me when I see work of this caliber. Argento is an artist who is going to tell you a story with unusual pictures, sound, sets, and sometimes the most minimal thing to remind you what you're watching. Boo!
    It's also quite easy to see and hear the influence this film has had on various filmmakers in the horror genre. "Slicing and dicing", glowing eyes in a window, here a witch, there a witch, what have you.
    This is one fine freak fest.
  • fb1664868775
    July 22, 2012
    Classic italian horror and the score is great.
  • October 16, 2011
    In response to learning of a remake set to be released in 2012, I thought I'd share my opinion of this unique 1977 film. Very few directors have the visual style of Dario Argento, making him very unique as far as directors go. At times it seems as if the plot is in the backgrou... read morend while style and shock are at the forefront. The horror genre has painted itself into a corner by sticking to the same formulas, in some cases outright copying. The genre is uninspired and has lost its' magic.

    Many filmmakers are taking it upon themselves to remake old horror classics (Halloween, Friday the 13th), while the others who venture out are generally stuck making something reminiscent of Saw or The Ring. Let's take a nostalgic trip back to 1977's Suspiria. It's beautiful, spooky and above all, unpredictable. Sure, it may seem timid when held against the shock values of todays films, but those films lack charm. Here, you feel as if you're being told a horrific story by a director who really enjoys scaring you instead of director-for-hire remaking a film about a babysitter tormented by a repeat caller. Suspiria has a Gothic feel laced with a small dose of LSD, appearing hallucinogenic with dramatic lighting effects and unusual camera angles. A classic for sure.

  • fb1216165431
    September 10, 2011
    A haunted ballet school splashed with a bloody barrage of colors and sound, Suspiria is undoubtedly extravagant and bizarre.
  • July 2, 2011
    Easily Argento's finest work. Absolutely beautiful art direction, color palette and magnificent score... possibly the best score for a horror film ever. It also has the very lovely Jessica Harper in it, which is always a plus. I have to be honest here and say that I saw this when... read more I was about 16, I think, and it scared the shit of me. Thing is, I keep coming back for more. I'm just addicted to it, and Argento's work in general. Positively gorgeous film.
  • May 17, 2011
    pretty dancers stabbed by big sharp knife yea Argento is a master of the expressive uh.. intellectual intricacies of.. film and he uses bright flashful colors to juxtapose the transition of his lush story from point A (girl senses horror abound in the spooky mansion. something de... read morefinitely not right.) to the marvelous point B (girls killed off one by one in many bizzare, intellectually violent, big meat cleaver through the face kinda ways) he is an auteur of the pioneers of the masters at the top of the horror directors of 1976-1978 totem poll and his masterfullness shows through the brilliantosity shown by his... work.
  • April 14, 2011
    Argento's best known film is probably his most expressive. This is a gem to look at with all it's lush Italian colors seeping out like a blood covered canvas. If you are looking for a horror film for intellectuals, this isn't it, but if you want something that will definitely imp... read moreress you, you've found it. It concerns an old dance company in Freiburg Germany that is headed up by an old witch matriarch who leads the coven in diabolical methods. An unsuspecting student, played wonderfully by Jessica Harper, finds herself piecing together a mystery when she arrives at the school in one of the most enigmatic and beautiful commencements of a film to date. Argento has music, colors, and sounds reverberate like an opera for our eyes to dazzle. He scares us with the rain, the closing of an automatic airport door, and loose tree branches that resemble evil lurking beings. This is one powerful moment. From then on, subtle hints are explored, the supernatural, science, one's faith. Never can we guess what is truly hiding at the academy. One scene of the dance students in the hall is superbly done with loud music, hideous heckling demonic shrieks and strange appearances, this is fantastic eye candy!
  • March 20, 2011
    Dario Argento's "Suspiria" is a weird movie. While that's not necessarily a bad thing (and often times, is a good thing), it's not doing anything to help out this film. I'm not going to lie: the visuals, from the sets to the lighting, are excellent at capturing a certain dream-... read morelike atmosphere, and the music (by the band, "Goblin") is repeatedly driven into your skull like chinese water torture; it's enough to drive you crazy. As incredible as the audio/video stimulation is, it's a poor lack of pacing that slows down the plot. If the effect desired is to create a nitemare trip, then some of the less important scenes should've found their way onto the cutting room floor. Also, I have a particular aversion to highly stylized, seventies slasher gore, I find it to be both cheap, phony and boring. Maybe I'm crazy, but watching someone get stabbed to death and thrown out a window just isn't intrinsically scary to me; maybe the whole "mystery killer" thing is the problem. It's not the act so much as who's committing it that's scary.

    The film takes place in some strange european castle that also serves as an exclusive ballet school. The new girl, an american, is made acutely aware of the strange goings-on at the castle, as two people are murdered her very first night there. From then on, she's put under some sort of spell and people begin dying at random and, then she discovers something and that's it. The end. If you prefer atmosphere to ideas, then this may be your cup of tea. I can't say it was mine.

Critic Reviews

J. Hoberman
September 1, 2009
J. Hoberman, Village Voice

A movie that makes sense only to the eye (and even then . . .). Full Review

Dave Kehr
March 29, 2007
Dave Kehr, Chicago Reader

Argento works so hard for his effects -- throwing around shock cuts, colored lights, and peculiar camera angles -- that it would be impolite not to be a little frightened. Full Review

Geoff Andrew
June 24, 2006
Geoff Andrew, Time Out

It's always fascinating to watch; the thrills and spills are so classy and fast that the movie becomes in effect what horror movies seemed like when you were too young to get in to see them. Full Review

Janet Maslin
May 9, 2005
Janet Maslin, New York Times

Mr. Argento's methods make potentially stomach-turning material more interesting than it ought to be. Full Review

Philip French
October 6, 2013
Philip French, Observer [UK]

From stormy start to fiery finish, it's a stylish, compelling, phantasmagoric movie. Full Review

Alan Jones
October 6, 2013
Alan Jones, Radio Times

A stunning combination of menacing Grand Guignol atmosphere, dazzling colours, gory violence, lush décor and pounding soundtrack. Full Review

Tim Brayton
October 30, 2012
Tim Brayton, Antagony & Ecstasy

Its outlandish, confounding style [does] more than virtually any other film to create the exact sort of unsettled, panicky mood in the viewer that is at the heart of horror. Full Review

Jonathan Crocker
October 10, 2012
Jonathan Crocker, Total Film

Argento's masterpiece is a movie in which nothing and nobody makes sense. Full Review

Donald J. Levit
April 29, 2012
Donald J. Levit, ReelTalk Movie Reviews

There is little logic in 'Suspiria,' just the exuberance of individual scenes. Full Review

Rob Humanick
June 26, 2011
Rob Humanick, Projection Booth

Encountered as one might a childhood nightmare or a flesh and blood incarnation of a Grimm fairy tale. Full Review

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    • Sara: And on a restricted diet, they give you wine?
    • Suzy Bannion: That's professor Verdegast's idea. Says i'tll build up my blood.
    • Olga: Susie. Sarah. I once read that names which begin with the letter 'S' are the names of SNAKES!
  • The Only Thing More Terrifying Than The Last 12 Minutes Of This Film Are The First 92.

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Suspiria Trivia

  • Which Dario Argento horror movie is widely considered as his most famous and features a ballet school governed by witches?  Answer »
  • What actress had a role in Suspiria and Minority Report?  Answer »
  • who played suzy banyon in suspiria  Answer »
  • The following tagline is from which 1977 horror film: "The Only Thing More Terrifying Than The Last 12 Minutes Of This Film Are The First 92."  Answer »

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