Back in 1977, Dario Argento’s cult masterpiece Suspiria saw the Italian horror director introduce a supernatural element to his lurid brand of thriller. This is the one where cult actress Jessica Harper’s young American dancer travels to Germany to attend a ballet academy deep in the Black Forest and finds out that the school is a front for a coven of witches. Right from the start, by means of colour, sound and camera movement, Argento creates an incredible sense of impending jeopardy. And as the story advances he keeps the film at a pitch of near-constant hysteria, in large part thanks to the amazing score by Italian prog rockers Goblin, whose tingling, rasping, throbbing score, accompanied by Argento’s constantly gliding camera, creates an almost unbearable sense of unease and suspense. Showing at the LFF in a stunning new 4K restoration, Suspiria remains a nightmarish fairy tale whose surreal, dream-like terrors, Grand Guignol excessiveness and technical panache put it into a class of its own.
Restored in 4K in 2016 by Videa at TLE Films Laboratory from the original camera negative and intermediate negative elements, Suspiria is showing at the Curzon Soho on Saturday 14 October at 9pm.