Suspiria - overrated? (COMBINED with "Suspiria: what a dud!")

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Paul_D, Sep 22, 2001.

  1. Paul_D

    Paul_D Cinematographer

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    I started watching this with EXTREMELY elevated expectations, after years of hearing how good it was. I popped the limited edition DVD release into my player, and cranked up the DTS mix, and prepared myself!
    My final impressions were:
    FOR
    -First 30 minutes were really excellent
    -Incredible sense of style - shot composition and color balance were both amazing - this is an essential film to watch on DVD
    -Beautiful sets
    -vicious and shocking early murder scene that really uncomfortable to watch - as it should be!
    -jessica harper looks so innocent - which is sooooo essential for the role
    AGAINST
    -cheesy crapola ending - I know it didn't make sense, but I wouldn't have minded if it had matched the style or atmosphere of the early parts of the film
    -the dubbing and acting (from everyone other than Jessica Harper) really bothered me - I know it was a convention of the time to record dialogue after filming, but its just so jarring if you're not used to it
    -equally, I know that bad performances are as much a part of Italian horror movies as gallons of spilled blood, but it can sometimes be offputting
    -I like some of the goblin soundtrack a lot, but hearing them praise their own work in the documentary REALLY put me off
    Definately worth seeing, but I think I need to see some of Argento's other films to be able to put this one in context. I don't think it sits well as a film in its own right. But I can imagine that as part of Argento's body of work, its merits can be appreciated much more!
    Quick question: The box lists it as 98 minutes long, and yet the tagline, quoted in the trailers but not on the box, is "The Only Thing More Terrifying Than The Last 12 Minutes Of This Film Are The First 92." It's advertised as UNCUT, so what happened to those other 6 minutes???
    (edit: added an extra point for)
    [Edited last by Paul Dalmaine on September 22, 2001 at 09:06 AM]
     
  2. Seth Paxton

    Seth Paxton Lead Actor

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    My feelings were similar to yours I think.
    I would call it a cinematographers horror film. Beautiful sets pieces, great colors and shots, but only a moderate narrative.
    Visually it's a very good film, but as a complete work of film art I only found it average. As a narrative it worked around the level of People Under the Stairs for me.
    Maybe those 6 minutes were so good they were part of the first 12 AND the final 92. [​IMG]
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  3. Matt_Stevens

    Matt_Stevens Supporting Actor

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    The tag line was by an American company that had no idea what it was doing. They ended up cutting the film to get an R anyway.
    The 98 minute version on the DVD is the director's cut. Nothing is missing.
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  4. Kevin M

    Kevin M Producer

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    It's all down to personal taste anyway so how can anything be "overrated", it depends on who your talking to.
    Me? I loved the ending. And as far as Goblin praising themselves I didn't think they said anything more than "of all our scores, we think this is the best one we've done." and they certainly didn't pat themselves on the back any more than the rest of the people in the docu.
    I found the film to be one of the best in the gender...now if I could just figure out exactaly what that gender was...
    Anyway, as I said it all depends on your own personal taste just how Suspiria plays out for you and the funny thing about "taste" is that it tends to change as time wares on, so who knows what your opinion about this film might be a week or two from now.
    But that's just my opinion. [​IMG]
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    [Edited last by Kevin M on September 23, 2001 at 06:42 AM]
     
  5. Chuck Mayer

    Chuck Mayer Lead Actor

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    Paul,
    I agree with what you said. I just bought the $15 (at BB) version (movie only). I started it last night and finished it this morning. I had NEVER seen an Argento film (I have Opera waiting to be watched as well), but I had read quite a bit. I can easily see why it is so popular, but it didn't work for me. The first 15 minutes did, though. Great camerawork and sets, but inconsistent narrative. I am glad I watched it, though.
     
  6. Matthew Chmiel

    Matthew Chmiel Cinematographer

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    I love Suspiria (one of Argento's finest, but I pefer The Bird with the Crystal Plumage, Deep Red, and Phenomena over it), and I do agree that the ending was a let down. It did make sense, but it wasn't executed as well as it could've been.
    Now with Goblin's score, imo, it's not the best they've ever done (even if they did say that). The best score they have done is Phenomena. [​IMG]
    Also, I have to agree with KevinM. The film depends on your taste in movies. If you like films driven on plot, then maybe Suspiria isn't for you. If you like films with some plot, but beautifully shot, then Suspiria is for you.
    quote: The tag line was by an American company that had no idea what it was doing.[/quote]
    Yes, most times 20th Century Fox has no ideas what they're doing when releasing films. [​IMG]
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    [Edited last by Matthew Chmiel on September 22, 2001 at 02:14 PM]
     
  7. Wes Ray

    Wes Ray Supporting Actor

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    I love Suspiria. I can't give it enough praise. I first learned about it by took home the documentary Dario Argento's World of Horror from my parents' video store when I was about 7 or 8 years old. The scenes in it were just so weird and shocking, it frightened me quite a bit.
    Then a few years later, there was some horror movie-themed show that came on USA for a little while. It showed behind the scenes of different horror films, US and European. I heard more about this Dario Argento guy, and they showed more clips from his films (mainly Suspiria) and they continued to scare me. It was more like a myth. I was scared to death of it, but I'd never actually seen the entire movie.
    Finally, when I was old enough to start collecting movies on my own, I hunted down every Argento film I could find. My crappy VHS copy of Suspiria enthralled me for years, but now I have the Limited Edition DVD of this spectacular horror masterpiece and I must say I don't think this film is overrated. It still makes me feel uneasy and freaks me out.
    Narrative and all that other "respectable" criteria for a good movie is all well and good but what Suspiria has that many other horror films don't have, is that it is genuinely scary. I can't recommend it higher.
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  8. Rich Romero

    Rich Romero Supporting Actor

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    Suspiria just isn't for everyone. It's only for a small percentage of people like me. It scared me to hell the second time I watched it. Dario Argento is more style over substance, but his style is so good I don't even care.
     
  9. Dome Vongvises

    Dome Vongvises Lead Actor

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    I liked Suspiria. I think it helped that it is only one of two movies I've watched in which the power to my house was subsequently cut after having finished the movie. The other was The Excorcist. Creepy huh? [​IMG]
     
  10. Kelley_B

    Kelley_B Cinematographer

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    The music in Suspiria alone makes it worth a watch. I disagree with MC, Suspiria is Goblin's finest work, followed by Phenomena. The first time I saw this the chants freaked me out so bad I stayed up all night.
     
  11. Ryan Satriani

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    I agree with Rich Romero......he told me to watch it twice, and the second time i watched it, i loved it....and it also scarred the crap out of me. Rock on Mr. Romero.
     
  12. Julie K

    Julie K Screenwriter

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    I don't think Suspiria is overrated. It is creepy, stylish, and beautiful. It has everything it needs.
     
  13. Mark Palermo

    Mark Palermo Second Unit

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    Suspiria is the one Argento film that I feel improves substantially with a second viewing. The story just takes too long revealing itself the first time. Definitely a movie for people who appreciate film foremost as a visceral art. With that said, I still think Deep Red and Opera are better.

    Mark
     
  14. JohnRice

    JohnRice Lead Actor

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    [​IMG] In the immortal words of Inigo Montoya, "I don't think that word means what you think it means."
    Your complaints seem to be pretty much from what is the very definition of "Italian Horror." I actually consider Suspiria one of the better of the genre. [​IMG] The problem is, on the whole, I'm just not a fan of that particular genre. I liked Phenommena, and From Beyond is decent, but Deep Red, which a lot of people tout, left me flat. The endings tend to be a letdown on all of them.
     
  15. Herm C

    Herm C Stunt Coordinator

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    It depends what time of day you watch it, if you watch Suspiria late, late at night you will find it much more enjoyable than say, on a Sunday afternoon.

    Personally, I enjoyed Goblin's Tenebre soundtrack better, followed by Deep Red and Phenomena.

    As for Argento's films, Tenebre is my favourite, followed by Phenomena, Deep Red and Suspiria.
     
  16. Nick Sievers

    Nick Sievers Producer

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    Paul, you absolutely summed up my feelings towards this film and I like the way you constructively criticise the film instead of saying it just *sucks*. Thanks.
     
  17. Damin J Toell

    Damin J Toell Producer

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    I was quite disappointed in Suspiria, especially considering how much praise it receives. While I generally consider myself to be an Argento fan (I love Deep Red, Tenebrae, and Phenomena), I just couldn't get into Suspiria or Inferno. That being said, I plan on giving Suspiria another shot within the next few months.
    DJ
     
  18. Paul_D

    Paul_D Cinematographer

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    Wow. Blast from the past. I've watched it a few more times since I saw it way back in September. And all I can say is: my initial impressions haven't changed at all. I still have very mixed feelings. As a story, I think its poorly paced and not terribly interesting. But as an exercise in orchestrated terror and visual splendour, its breathtaking to behold. I'm glad I still have the DVD, but you definitely have to watch it in a specific frame of mind.
    I've also seen Tenebre and Deep Red since my first viewing of Suspiria, and I have to say that I think both a far superior as narratives. I think its simply down to the plots. They're both far more compelling than Suspiria.
     
  19. Kevin M

    Kevin M Producer

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  20. Brook K

    Brook K Lead Actor

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    As a story, Suspiria is average, as a work of art, it has few equals in the horror genre. While I prefer Argento's Bird With The Crystal Plummage and Deep Red as films, I'd rather watch the amazing style and soundscapes of Suspiria.

    I love the Goblin score for Suspiria and it's my favorite of their Argento's, but I always thought Dawn of the Dead was their best score.
     

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