October 29, 2014

31 Days of Creepy Scenes, #3: Mater Suspiriorum

They've given us nightmares, given us chills, made us cringe, made us laugh, made us gag, and made us stare at the screen in awe: these are the scenes that pop into our minds when we think of great Horror Films, and we love them all.

*We recommend that if you've never seen these scenes before, that you experience them for the first time unspoiled in the movies that they come from, if you can. With that in mind, we'll try to be as spoiler-free as possible while discussing them; try, being the key word here.

.. or more precisely, "The Wrath of Mater Suspiriorum." That was just too long of a title to type into that little banner up there though.

Suspiria is one of Dario Argento's greatest films, and many would even say it's THE greatest. All ranking debates aside, Suspiria is one hell of an effort that uses color to help tell its story better than any movie that we've ever seen. The movie is a clinic in how to use reds, blues, and greens to maximum effectiveness.

Suspiria is the story of a young foreign exchange student who arrives at a prestigious ballet academy in Germany, only to find that it's run by a coven of witches. When one of the students, Pat Hingle (?!?) is expelled from the academy, she takes refuge at a friends apartment, terrified that the witches are going to find her and kill her. At the behest of Helena Markos (either directly or indirectly), they do find her, and the video below reveals the fate of both Pat and her friend.

*Helena Markos aka Mater Suspiriorum (The Mother of Sighs) is the head witch of the coven, and the most powerful of the Three Mothers; the others are Mater Tenebrarum (from the movie Inferno), and Mater Lachrymarum (from The Mother of Tears.) Each film is a part of Dario Argento's Three Mothers Trilogy.

There was nobody, NOBODY, doing death scenes like that in the U.S. (or the World, for that matter) in the 70's... unless their name was Dario Argento. Elaborate, gorgeous, and stomach-turning, that sequence is still to this day one of the greatest things ever captured on film.

When it comes to 70's & 80's Horror, it's really hard to beat the work of Dario Argento; no one combined atmosphere, gore, and visual acumen as well as he did. If you've never seen Suspiria, you're missing out on a true genre classic, and even though it's the best of the Three Mothers Trilogy, Inferno and Mother of Tears are also worth a look. In fact, watching all three back to back makes for one hell of a movie marathon. 

Read our Full review of Inferno here.
Read our Full review of Mother of Tears here.


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