|Suspiria (1977) at the Shin Bungeiza. Photo by Brett Homenick.
|Suspiria merch for sale! Photo by Brett Homenick.
As for Suspiria, I was kind of tickled how similar the opening of the movie was to Evil of Dracula (1974). Both films open with a taxi ride by our out-of-towner protagonist to a creepy school run by ghouls and goblins (not to be confused with the band Goblin, who provides the score for the flick). In the late '90s, I remember hearing from more than one tokusatsu fan the old yarn about how George Lucas ripped off the story of The Magic Serpent (1966) for Star Wars (1977), so I probably shouldn't give anyone wild ideas here. I mean, some people still believe that RoboCop (1987) was a rip-off of Space Sheriff Gavan (1982-83).
Wow, did I get off-topic. That might be because I don't have much else to say about the film. Interestingly, seeing it in 4K on the big screen didn't change my opinion one iota. It's certainly a much better visual experience, and the film definitely does look amazing in general, so I'll give it credit for that. But I didn't find the story engaging, nor did I find it particularly creepy or remotely scary.
No argument here that maggots are gross, and looking at them is unpleasant, but that doesn't mean showing them in a movie automatically puts you in "master of horror" (whatever that's supposed to mean, anyway) territory. The movie isn't very well acted (which, in fairness, might be more of a problem with the voice actors who dubbed the principals), the scares aren't very scary (the fake blood looks exactly like what it is, and the stabbing in the first death scene seemed surprisingly lethargic), and the climax was a let-down (despite all the build-up, the final boss was sure defeated pretty easily).
I did enjoy the score by Goblin and the visuals, but that was about it. I think it's fair to say that Dario Argento movies just aren't my cup of tea. I do want to see Deep Red again at some point, as I'm sure I'd have a better time with that one. (I still vividly remember the opening scene, which sure is an attention-grabber.)