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The Sunday Score: Suspiria (1977)

Suspiria 

This week’s selection is from the 1977 motion picture, “Suspiria.”

It’s difficult to tell anymore if “Suspiria” is a bona fide classic horror film or beloved by its fans so tightly, it just feels bulletproof. I suppose if I had to assemble a top-ten list of my own favorites of the genre (at gunpoint, of course), Dario Argento’s puzzling, opulent Technicolor scare machine would have a home there. It’s the Italian maestro’s finest film, a movie I can’t help but watch with my jaw dropped and my eyes shielded. It’s all just so delightfully disturbing.

Made during his most fertile creative season, Argento’s employment of the rock band Goblin to score “Suspiria” was a stroke of genius, building on their unforgettable work in the 1975 thriller “Deep Red.” Letting Claudio Simonetti and his droogs work their macabre magic on “Suspiria” resulted in a distinctive soundtrack of clanging sounds and demonic chants, not exactly elegant orchestrations. Goblin wanted to penetrate the senses, and the score, more specifically the main theme of the film, just doesn’t play fair.

“Suspiria” is a creepy film and the score matches Argento’s concentration masterfully, walking from something approachable and surreal to a flat-out performance art piece that eventually hurts to listen to. Now there’s some musical bravery. Who needs a stabbing when there's an Italian progressive rock band around.    

Here’s the main theme.

And the film’s misinformed American trailer.

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