Blu-ray Review: SUSPIRIA (Synapse Films 2-Disc Edition)

SUSPIRIA is partially based on Thomas De Quincey‘s 1845 essay Suspiria de Profundis (Sighs from the Depths). The movie was directed by Dario Argento from a screenplay by Daria Nicolodi and Dario Argento and stars Jessica Harper, Alida Valli, Stefania Casini, Flavio Bucci, Eva Axén, Udo Kier, Barbara Magnolfi and Joan Bennett.

Jessica Harper stars in this horrific tale of a young student who uncovers dark and horrific secrets within the walls of a famous German dance academy. Suzy (Jessica Harper) travels to Germany to attend ballet school. When she arrives, late on a stormy night, no one lets her in, and she sees Pat (Eva Axén), another student, fleeing from the school. When Pat reaches her apartment, she is murdered. The next day, Suzy is admitted to her new school, but has a difficult time settling in. She hears noises, and often feels ill. As more people die, Suzy uncovers the terrifying secret history of the place.

Suspiria follows this American dancer who travels to Germany to attend this highly reguarded dance academy. Upon her arrival she’s met with an extremely cold welcome by the school and quickly realizes that something strange is going on. There’s people getting murdered all around Suzy who ends up finding out that the dance academy is nothing more than a front for a coven of witches and she’s stuck right in the middle of this grim black magic nightmare. The young woman ends up going against this dark group and it ultimately leads her right to the ancient witch who’s been calling the shots from behind the scenes. Suzy overcomes her deepest and darkest fears with a fatal blow to the coven and somehow finds a way to narrowly escape this terrifying experience.

Okay, Suspiria has always been described as Dario Argento’s horror masterpiece and for good reason. Also, in my opinion, Argento has several horror masterpieces and this is just one of them. This is giallo at its grandest and has the legendary filmmaker’s trademark style all over it. It’s full of the macabre that’s all courtesy of this mysterious coven of witches so there’s plenty of blood and gore during the watch. The colors, lighting and cinematography are the special ingredients in the movie that help make it something really unique. The reds, greens and blues stand out beautifully and elevate some of the key scenes to the next level. There’s also Goblin’s iconic music that fits in perfectly with the movie. So, when you add all of these elements together you get an atmospheric horror classic that not only stands the test of time but it’s one of the most beautiful horror movies ever created.

The packaging comes with a slipcover/0-card. The front features the all-new artwork you see at the top of the page and the back includes movie details, some images and list of special features. The reverse sleeve features some original artwork and movie credits so you have your pick of which side you’d like to use for the front cover. The Blu-ray disc also features its own individual artwork. Inserting the disc, the menu screen was simple and easy to navigate. The movie features Synapse’s all-new 4K restoration that’s exclusive to this release. The picture and sound quality for this high-definition release were crisp and clear. I didn’t have any issues with the video and audio.

Bottom line is, I really enjoyed revisiting Suspiria and what Synapse Films has done is nothing short of impressive because the movie looks and sounds absolutely amazing. The story and characters for this 1977 gem are interesting but the standouts for this one are the colors, lighting and cinematography used in the movie. These three special ingredients help make Suspiria the horror classic that it has become over the years and this all-new 4K upgrade that Synapse Films has given it simply amplifies its stylish beauty. It took the Synapse gang three years to restore this movie and the outcome is simply stunning in every way. Oh yeah, be sure you crank it up when you press play! This 2-disc Blu-ray set for Suspiria is now available and is highly recommended. Be sure you add this pristine release to your collection if you haven’t done so already.

Distributor: Synapse Films

Run Time: 98 Minutes

Rated: Not Rated

Blu-ray Video: 1080p High-Definition Widescreen (2.39:1)

Blu-ray Audio: English DTS-HD Master Audio 4.0 / Italian DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1

Subtitles: English SDH

Special Features: Good Stuff! The impressive list of extras include two commentary tracks, three featurettes, an interview, three original trailers, three TV spots and five radio spots.

  • A new 4K restoration of the original uncut, uncensored Italian 35mm camera negative exclusively done by Synapse Films, with color correction supervised and approved by SUSPIRIA Director of Photography, Luciano Tovoli.
  • Original 4.0 1977 English language LCRS sound mix not heard since the theatrical release in 1977, presented in high-resolution DTS-HD MA 96kHz/24-bit audio, with newly-translated removable English SDH subtitles.
    Italian 5.1 surround mix, with removable English subtitle translation.
  • Two audio commentaries by authors and Argento scholars, Derek Botelho, David Del Valle and Troy Howarth.
  • Do You Know Anything About Witches? – 30 minute SUSPIRIA visual essay written, edited and narrated by Michael Mackenzie. (30:06)
  • Suzy in Nazi Germany – Featurette on the German locations from SUSPIRIA. (08:01)
  • A Sigh from the Depths: 40 Years of SUSPIRIA – All-new anniversary retrospective on the making of the film and its influence on cinema. (27:07)
  • Olga’s Story – Interview with star Barbara Magnolfi. (17:14)
  • Original Theatrical Trailers (04:29)
  • TV Spots (01:46)
  • Radio Spots (02:23)
  • “International Classics” English “Breathing Letters” opening credit sequence from U.S. release. (01:41)
  • Alternate All-English opening and closing credits sequences, playable via seamless branching.
  • Reversible Cover Art created by Joel Robinson.

 

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