Picture courtesy of... Copyright...

My favourite cinema in Edinburgh is the Filmhouse, primarily for the types of films that are shown there; mainly arthouse and foreign films. It was there, during my first year at university, that I had the good fortune to attend a two day horror film festival. I can state with all honesty that Suspiria, screened that weekend, is the only film I have seen at the cinema where the directing stunned me. At the time, this was the only single copy of the film present in the whole of the country, and it was unavailable in any format anywhere I tried looking. Some years later, though, it has been released on video, and the soundtrack is available for purchase (both of which I now possess). For those happy few who have seen this masterpiece, or those of you who don't mind the plot being revealed, feel free to read my critique.

SUSPIRIA (1977) Italy, 95 minutes approx, Colour, English language, BBFC rated 18.

"Probably the finest Italian horror movie ever made."

Martin Coxhead - The Dark Side

"Dario Argento's masterpiece of Grand Guignol horror comes to video uncut and in widescreen for the first time, digitally remastered and with the pounding Goblin soundtrack in hi-fi stereo. Hailed as the work of a genius at the height of his powers, SUSPIRIA hits new peaks of terror through its stunning photography, eye-popping production design and terrifying atmosphere of dread and death.

"Susy Banyon (Jessica Harper) is an American ballet student, travelling to Germany to study at an exclusive Academy in the Black Forest. After one of the students and her friend are hideously murdered in the first of Argento's breathcatching set-piece killings, Susy discovers that the Academy has a bizarre history and, as the body count rises, she gets involved in a hideous labyrinth of murder, black magic and madness.

"Utilising complex lighting systems, intense film processing techniques, wire-guided cameras and multi-layer music recording, Argento paints a masterpiece of terror on a technically impeccable canvas. Suspiria is a nerve-shredding assault on the senses! YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED."

[Video Packaging Copyright, Nouveaux Pictures 1998.]