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Suspiria (free)

  • Union South Marquee 1308 West Dayton Street Madison, WI, 53715 United States (map)

There is much to unpack in Dario Argento's 1977 film Suspiria, which set a high bar for how visually engaging a horror movie can be beyond the splatter and gore. (Don't worry, there's still plenty of that to go around here.) Jessica Harper plays young Suzy Bannon, who has just arrived to attend a dance academy in Freiburg, Germany. Things get off to a rough start as she sees a young girl fleeing the school upon her arrival in the middle of the night. A series of horrific murders and other oddities ensue at the academy, as Argento sucks viewers into a smorgasbord of art-deco set pieces, oversaturated colors, and unnatural camera angles. Italian prog-rock band Goblin provides a bone-chilling soundtrack, complete with tubular bells and demonic whispering, that heightens the film's sense of dread. (It Follows and The Guest are more recent films that have borrowed from Goblin's score, and are better for it.) There is supposedly a remake in the works, but do yourself a favor and don't be suckered into seeing a remake of a genuine classic. Instead, catch the original Suspiria, which had a major influence on just about every 1980s American horror flick, and screens here in a new digital restoration. —Edwanike Harbour

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