A little background information for anyone reading this blog (aside from the 3 members... if there are any of you out there?!), there is quite a lot of rivalry when it comes to each other’s choices. I’ve often been accused of playing it ultra safe, picking classic and well respected films. I can’t deny this charge, I’ve certainly selected many films that are well known horror classics... and I make no apologies for it! I would argue that I try to bring films to the table which will entertain my fellow horror clubbers: I don’t wish to subject them to films like Hatchet or The Eye, if I can help it. Having said that, I thought it was probably time I went for something a bit more leftfield than usual. We’ve not really looked at much classic European horror in the 2 years we’ve been doing this and I thought it was an area we needed to explore.
It was certainly a different sort of experience. At least four times during the movie I shouted out ‘what’s going on??!!’ and I meant it... I had no clue for most of the film what was happening. It is an incredibly strange film. One that makes you feel very uneasy and uncomfortable. Visually, it is magnificent – unlike any film I’ve seen before. Aside from just being beautiful, the way it is shot also adds to the disturbing nature of the events unfolding. You are convinced you see things all the time in the corner of the picture, the unique look of this film means that you are constantly feeling that your eyes are being tricked. You’re never exactly sure where you stand with this film, and you have literally no idea what the next scene will bring.
Suspiria reminded me of two films. The first was Mulholland Drive. Probably quite a weird comparison – but it is only other film I can remember watching where I didn’t know what was going on and it didn’t bother me. Something about it sucked me in: it was compelling. I didn’t care that the intricacies of the plot didn’t really make any sense, or the dialogue was weird. It somehow added to the experience. Suspiria was similar in that sense. Secondly, I was reminded of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. The visuals and sound are maximised in Suspiria to really test the audiences resolve. The sound, in particular, really pushes the envelope of horror movies. It is so freaky and every time that weird music starts you are put in a state of high alert. It is a brilliantly used device. Films that go beyond the usual horror trademarks – namely jumps and tension – to create something new and challenging are rare, and I think that these two films are similar in how pioneering they both are.
I could spend a lot of time delving into the significance of that intense red colour, and all manner of other things... but the truth is I don’t know what it was all about, and it didn’t matter to me. I could also criticise the film for its apparent flaws (which are plentiful) but they didn't bother me either. The simple fact is that I was compelled to watch this film from the very first scene. I couldn’t not watch. It was freaky, scary (balls out in some parts), unsettling, strange, beautiful and unique – a completely original horror experience.
Admittedly this one is probably not for casual horror fans, but it really is unlike any other movie that you’ll see.