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Jessica Harper - Suzy Banyon
Stefania Casini - Sara
Joan Bennett - Madame Blanc
Alida Valli - Miss Tanner
Flavio Bucci - Daniel
Udo Kier - Franco

"Bad Luck isn't brought by broken mirrors, but by broken minds"
----- Franco

With DEEP RED, Argento began to push his slasher movies into gorier terrain, verging on the splatter genre. Suspiria, which established him as Italy's most efficient engineer of shock-horror pictures, is his best effort in the genre to date and looks both back to his earlier exercises in the mystery thriller, such as FOUR FLIES ON GREY VELVET, for its highly wrought, decorative manner, and forward to his later work in the genre (INFERNO and TENEBRAE), for its narrative design of an individual arriving in a strange locale and being plunged into a labyrinth of murders and sinister occurrences.

Here, the heroine (Harper) is a new student at a ballet school in Freiburg which was the home of the witch, the "Black Widow". Not too surprisingly, a coven still exists there, headed by the two principal teachers (Valli and Bennett). After a climatic confrontation with the materialized spirit of the Black Widow herself, Harper narrowly escapes as the building goes up in flames.

Although the narrative is contrived and artificial, Argento's exceptionally skilful use of colour, jagged cutting and good sense of decor, as well as a recourse to a shower of maggots, traps of steel mesh to exsanguinate their victims, razors, and so on, combine to create a hallucinatory atmosphere of terror. The score, composed by the director and as usual performed by The Goblin's rock group adds to the claustrophobia.
- Overlook Film Encyclopedia of Horror, edt Phil Hardy.

all photos from Fantasy Film Memory, issue 4/5, directed by Dario Argento, by Pierre Jouis, John Martin, 1991. Gothic, Paris.

"Valli's performance is appropriately hieretic and the entire picture culminates in one of the most chillingly efficient sequences of the terror subgenre's brief history".
- Terror on Tape, by James O'Neill.

"From its shocking opening double-murder to its fiery finish, this is the Italian horror-art film at its very best, full of lush colours, bizarre set design, and very loud Goblin music. A must-see"
- Overlook Film Encyclopedia of Horror, edt Phil Hardy.