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Halloween DVD Picks

Movie

Suspiria

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The winner of this year’s Gus Van Sant “Psycho” Award for most purposeless remake goes to fanboy Luca Guadagnino (<em>I Am Love, Call Me By Your Name</em>). Dario Argento’s <em>Suspiria</em> is so much a product of the director’s innermost self that it would be easier to replicate his DNA than to remake this picture. Guadagnino pretty much follows the flow of the original, with the exception of choosing to do away with Argento’s climactic reveal by letting the audience know before the opening credits roll that the school is a front for an assembly of witches. Beneath her red wig, Dakota Johnson’s non-presence is such that one wonders how much better the film might have been had Lindsay Lohan been tapped to star. The Argento is a marvel of style-as-subject; Guadagnino subjects audiences to second-hand shocks. And did I mention that this thing runs an hour longer than the original? With: Mia Goth and Tilda Swinton in no less than three roles.

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As a filmmaker setting out to do a Giallo (a genre of Italian crime thrillers) short film, I only find it fitting that my picks for Halloween are two standards of this classic Italian film form. Suspiria is not only the best Giallo in cinema ever, it’s one of the great horror films across the genre. It’s expressionistic use of color, combined with its disconcerting kill scenes, make this Dario Argento exercise in artistic bloodletting a true masterpiece.

The other pick is also from the master of Giallo. Dario Argento’s Inferno continues where Suspiria left off. Argento uses color and the arts (Suspiria uses ballet, Inferno uses music) as a background for terror that unsettles the audience while seducing it with beautiful design, music, and actresses. It’s a tale that obsessed Argento: the tale of the three sisters of sorrow. This tale has captured me as well.

Suspiria (Italy) 1977, Blue Underground
List price: $19.98

Inferno (Italy) 1980, Blue Underground
List price: $29.98

— Phillip Lorenzo, Filmmaker, Vae Lacrimae, facebook.com/VaeLacrimae

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Movie

Suspiria

thumbnail

The winner of this year’s Gus Van Sant “Psycho” Award for most purposeless remake goes to fanboy Luca Guadagnino (<em>I Am Love, Call Me By Your Name</em>). Dario Argento’s <em>Suspiria</em> is so much a product of the director’s innermost self that it would be easier to replicate his DNA than to remake this picture. Guadagnino pretty much follows the flow of the original, with the exception of choosing to do away with Argento’s climactic reveal by letting the audience know before the opening credits roll that the school is a front for an assembly of witches. Beneath her red wig, Dakota Johnson’s non-presence is such that one wonders how much better the film might have been had Lindsay Lohan been tapped to star. The Argento is a marvel of style-as-subject; Guadagnino subjects audiences to second-hand shocks. And did I mention that this thing runs an hour longer than the original? With: Mia Goth and Tilda Swinton in no less than three roles.

Find showtimes

As a filmmaker setting out to do a Giallo (a genre of Italian crime thrillers) short film, I only find it fitting that my picks for Halloween are two standards of this classic Italian film form. Suspiria is not only the best Giallo in cinema ever, it’s one of the great horror films across the genre. It’s expressionistic use of color, combined with its disconcerting kill scenes, make this Dario Argento exercise in artistic bloodletting a true masterpiece.

The other pick is also from the master of Giallo. Dario Argento’s Inferno continues where Suspiria left off. Argento uses color and the arts (Suspiria uses ballet, Inferno uses music) as a background for terror that unsettles the audience while seducing it with beautiful design, music, and actresses. It’s a tale that obsessed Argento: the tale of the three sisters of sorrow. This tale has captured me as well.

Suspiria (Italy) 1977, Blue Underground
List price: $19.98

Inferno (Italy) 1980, Blue Underground
List price: $29.98

— Phillip Lorenzo, Filmmaker, Vae Lacrimae, facebook.com/VaeLacrimae

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Comments
1

I saw Suspiria new in theaters and have followed Argento's work ever since, right up thru his recent entries for the Masters of Horror TV show. I definitely concur with Suspiria as an excellent Halloween pick, especially for anyone unfamiliar with his work (the wonky soundtrack work by rock-goth-noise band Goblin was never better). Inferno, not so much - if I had to choose a top two, I'd rank Argento's Demons as better double feature fodder, concerning a mysterious Brigadoon-like cursed movie theater...

Oct. 17, 2012

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