The AFS Cinema is proud to present the new restoration of horror legend Dario Argento's 1977 horror classic SUSPIRIA, starting September 1. Tickets are on sale now.
Over the past four years, Synapse Films has partnered with some heavy hitters to reconstruct what is sure to be the definitive version of Argento's seminal vision. Presented in its original 98 minute runtime, rescanned from the original uncut, uncensored Italian 35mm camera negative in 4K resolution at Technicolor Rome in Italy, with the supervision of Argento's director of photography Lucian Tovoli, it's possible the film has never looked better.
Colors are everything in this film, and Tovoli's supervision has ensured they pop like severed arteries. Possibly an even bigger revelation is the sound, sourced from the original 35mm magnetic tape four-track soundtrack which accompanied SUSPIRIA during its initial first-run tour through Europe in the 1970s and has not been heard since—the pulsing score performed by longtime Argento collaborators and Italian progressive rock legends Goblin is louder and more present than ever.
The film depicts the terrifying experience of an American ballet dancer Suzy Bannion (Jessica Harper), as she arrives in Germany to study at the Tanz Dance Academy. During the course of her study, Suzy realizes the school, its origins, and instructors are not what they seem in this strangely beautiful nightmare of a film. Argento's remarkably bold camera movements explore the diabolically decadent cinematic environment while each measure of Goblin's frenetic, bewitching soundtrack pulls audiences further from safety. Blood pours and screams resound as each meticulously crafted frame of fear grips the screen.
Over the years, SUSPIRIA has become a cult staple thanks to home video, its fantasy casting spells over late night party-goers and cinematic thrill seekers. And Argento's decidedly fashionable flourish in designing death continues to hex audiences worldwide. While Argento made a good number of beloved films, nothing quite affects audiences like SUSPIRIA, arguably the purest distillation of his cinematic vision.