Suspiria [Blu-ray]
Blu-ray ALL - Australia - Umbrella Entertainment
Review written by and copyright: James-Masaki Ryan (4th January 2018).
The Film

"Suspiria" (1977)

Suzy Bannion (played by Jessica Harper) is an American who moves to Munich, Germany to join a coveted ballet academy, but her arrival is filled with mystery. From the airport to the academy it is raining extremely hard. When she arrives at the academy, she sees a girl strangely fleeing from the place. She tries to let herself in but no one would greet her at the door. Eventually she would have to stay overnight at a local place instead. When she is finally able to enter the next day, she is greeted by the dance instructor Miss Tanner (played by Alida Valli") and is given a tour of the academy, plus an introduction to fellow dance students Sara (played by Stefania Casini and Olga (played by Barbara Magnolfi.

While the place is perfect for students looking to perfect their graceful stances, something strange lurks within the walls of the building. Girls are mysteriously found dead on the day Suzy arrives. Maggots are found on the walls and ceilings suddenly. The blind piano player Daniel (played by Flavio Bucci) is unsuspectingly mauled by his guide dog. Suzy starts to experience unexplainable things and when she looks to uncover the dark secrets of the dance academy, the truth is something she could never dream of.

By 1977 director Dario Argento was considered a new master of horror with his films "The Cat O' Nine Tails" (1970), "Four Flies on Grey Velvet" (1971), and "Deep Red" (1975) being acclaimed worldwide. Not only for the horror aspect but for their style in visual cues and inventive cinematography helped them stand out from the rest of the Italian horror genre. 1977's "Suspiria" is a horror film that transcends the horror genre with inventive use of colors, music, mood, and violence to create something very different and very memorable. Sure there are a few jump scares, sure there is some unnecessary amount of blood, sure some of the actors look incredibly creepy. But what sets "Suspiria" above all else is how it looks and how it feels. The production design by Giuseppe Bassan is nothing less than extraordinary with set pieces and visuals that are straight out of a Technicolor nightmare, and to capture this fully, cinematographer Luciano Tovolli used the 3-strip Technicolor film process, which was by the 1970s seldom used. The widescreen frame is used to its fullest with carefully composed shots throughout, and by Argento's direction, not one shot is ever repeated within the film. What was created was a striking visual masterpiece full of nightmarish colors, fairytale like innocence, and bloody vengeance.

Argento and co-screenwriter Daria Nicolodi took inspiration from many fairy tales. From "Snow White" to "Alice in Wonderland" to classics by Hans Christen Andersen and the Grimm Brothers. A young innocent girl thrust into the evil of a witch's lair may sound strange from a viewpoint of a dance academy, but the spin of placing it in a modern setting is what "Suspiria" does well. Jessica Harper as Suzy plays the innocent character on the journey into darkness is wonderful but not everything in the film is seen through her eyes. There are various murders that she does not see. There are some scenes in which the audience must question what it is that might be happening. It is not a film that gives easy answers and some might even criticize the plot being partially thin compared to the visual splendor. But with many things left unanswered, that leads to discussions and repeated viewings, in which fans of "Suspiria" have undoubtedly done many times over. The music score by Goblin is one of the most unsettling and beautiful tracks ever, as the film has scenes of quiet music box-like beauty from a fairy tale, while other scenes have clashing drums and thrashing sound effects that is horrific and disturbing yet fitting very effectively with each scene.

The film was distributed by 20th Century Fox in America and became Argento's highest grossing movie in the country to date. The film's release in Japan was a massive hit, so much so that Toho picked up the rights to 1975's "Deep Red" and releasing it the following year as "Suspiria 2" to unsuspecting audiences. Reception in Argento's home country theatrically was fair but not a big hit. Over the years with video and DVD, the film has lived on with a cult following, resulting in various home video incarnations over the years. In 2012 Umbrella Entertainment released the film on Blu-ray. With the 40th anniversary in 2017, Umbrella Entertainment has re-released the film on Blu-ray with a new video and audio transfer and additional extras.

Note this is a region ALL Blu-ray which can be played back on any Blu-ray player worldwide


Umbrella Entertainment presents the film in 1080p in the AVC MPEG-4 codec, in the original 2.35:1 aspect ratio. In 2017 for the film's 40th anniversary a 4K restoration from the original elements by TLEFilms FRPS in Germany. The striking use of colors comes to vibrant life in this restored edition, with the deep reds, shimmering blues, and dark blacks looking quite amazing. For the restoration, the print has been cleaned though there are very few specs and marks remaining on the image if you look extremely closely. For the most part the defects are not noticeable. Overall it is a stellar looking restoration and excellent transfer by Umbrella for this 40th Anniversary Blu-ray.

Note that the UK and German 40th Anniversary releases also use the 4K master by TLEFilms FRPS found on the Australian Blu-ray. The US release also features a 4K transfer, but Synapse did their own restoration, with color correction supervised and approved by director of photography Luciano Tovoli.

The film's runtime is 99:05 with the original Italian language credits.


English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 (2017 mix)
English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 (2012 mix)
Italian DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1

There are three audio tracks, all in lossless 5.1 though some may not notice because they are not labeled in the menus and are only accessible by the audio button on the remote. The first audio track is the English language track mixed in 2017 for the 40th anniversary restoration. The second one is the same English language track that appeared on Umbrella Entertainment's 2012 Blu-ray edition. The third is the Italian language track, although on the disc it is incorrectly labeled as "English".

The sound design of "Suspiria" is as involved as the picture, with a very extensive use of the soundscape. Originally presented in 4.0 surround theatrically, the stems were remixed to create the new 2017 restored 5.1 track and the results are quite good, though not perfect. The Italian-German co-production was shot with the different actors speaking in their native tongue, whether in English, German, or Italian, and later dubbed in full to create a consistent language track for each territory. As almost everything is post-synched the lip movements can slightly be off and distracting, but for people used to watching Italian productions of the time period it should feel normal. Dialogue is mostly front and centered while the surrounds are used for the haunting and pounding score by Goblin and the various sound effects. The 2017 track is mixed slightly higher than the older track and there is more depth to the music and dialogue. But with this also comes some minor hiss within certain scenes. The 2012 track is mixed at a lower volume and so is the Italian language track.

There are optional English and Italian subtitles for the Italian language track, both in a white font. As they are for the Italian track, the subtitles do not match for the English language audio, such as "Suzy Bannion" being called "Susy Benner" in the Italian version, and many other differences. For the Italian subtitles they are not complete with some words missing here and there.


"Suspiria Told by Dario Argento" an interview with Dario Argento & Nick Vivarelli on Suspiria's 40th anniversary (27:14)
In this newly produced interview, Dario Argento has a conversation with Nick Vivarelli from Variety, in which they talk about the stories that influenced the film, the use of colors, some behind the scenes anecdotes, and more. In addition Argento talks about how modern horror movies do not have the same impact of the films of his prime era. Vivarelli asks questions in English and Argento replies in Italian for this interview.
in 1080i 60hz AVC MPEG-4, in 1.78:1, in English/Italian Dolby Digital 2.0 with burned-in English subtitles for the Italian portions

"Suspiria 25th Anniversary" documentary (51:49)
In this comprehensive making-of documentary, there are interviews with various people including Dario Argento, Dario Nicoldi, Jessica Harper, Udo Kier, and more. The cast and crew recall the shooting of the film, the 3-strip Techicolor process, and the inspirations from classic fairy tales. This 2002 documentary was previously available on various DVD releases of “Suspiria”.
in 576i MPEG-2, in 1.78:1, in English/Italian Dolby Digital 2.0 with burned-in English subtitles for the Italian portions

Exclusive interview with Dario Argento (2004) (21:15)
In this interview, Argento speaks in front of a screen that is showing “Suspiria” (via greenscreen). In it he discusses about the location scouting, the research done, the use of Technicolor, how he cast Jessica Harper, and the reaction and reception the film received. Although labeled “exclusive” this interview was previously available on various “Suspiria” DVDs and was also available on the previous Umbrella Entertainment Blu-ray.
in 720p AVC MPEG-4, in 1.33:1, in Italian Dolby Digital 2.0 with burned-in English subtitles

"Fear at 400 Degrees: The Cine-Excess of Suspiria" documentary (34:56)
In this documentary comprised of interviews from various critics including Kim Newman and Patricia MacCormack, plus the people involved with the film such as Dario Argento and Claudio Simonetti discuss the film in its place of the Giallo genre, some behind the scenes stories, and some hints at a possible remake. And not exactly a spoiler, but a remake is coming soon! This documentary was first released on the UK 2012 Nouveaux Pictures Blu-ray and was also available on the previous Umbrella Entertainment Blu-ray of “Suspiria”.
in 720p AVC MPEG-4, in windowboxed 1.78:1,in English/Italian DTS 2.0 with burned-in English subtitles for the Italian portions

"An Eye for Horror" documentary (56:57)
This feature length documentary is an overview of the life of Dario Argento, from his childhood, his career in filmmaking, along with behind the scenes clips of many of his films. There are interviews with Dario Argento, Claudio Argento, George Romero, Alice Cooper, John Carpenter, Bill Lustig. Luigi Costi, Jessica Harper, and many more. This documentary was released on various DVD editions as well as the previous Umbrella Entertainment Blu-ray.
in 576i MPEG-2, in 1.78:1, in English Dolby Digital 2.0 with no subtitles

"Dario Argento's World of Horror" documentary (70:48)
Another feature length documentary, this centers on Argento’s career as a filmmaker. There are behind the scenes clips of “Suspiria”, “Inferno”, “Phenomena”, and more. This documentary was previously released on various DVD editions.
in 576i AVC MPEG-4, in 1.33:1, in English/Italian Dolby Digital 2.0 with burned-in English subtitles for the Italian portions

Image Gallery (49:30)
100 pages promotional stills, lobby cards, theatrical posters, vinyl. There is no audio accompyment.
in 1080p AVC MPEG-4

International Theatrical Trailer (2:03)
The international trailer features mostly stills with Goblin’s opening music and without dialogue.
in 480i MPEG-2, in 1.78:1, Dolby Digital 5.1 with no subtitles

U.S. Theatrical Trailer (1:12)
This English narrated trailer does not advertise it as an Argento movie but more on the mystery horror angle.
in 480i MPEG-2, in 1.78:1, in English Dolby Digital 2.0 with no subtitles

TV Spot (0:30)
A Rated-R US TV spot.
in 720p AVC MPEG-4, in 1.33:1, in English Dolby Digital 2.0 with no subtitles

Radio Spots
- 30 second spot 1 (0:30)
- 30 second spot 2 (0:30)
- 30 second spot 3 (0:29)

Featuring the same narration from the US trailer and TV spot, three slightly different radio spots are presented.
in 720p AVC MPEG-4, in 1.33:1, in English Dolby Digital 2.0 with no subtitles

Dario Argento Trailer Reel (41:14)
- "The Bird with the Crystal Plumage"
- "Cat O'Nine Tails"
- "Four Flies on Green Velvet"
- "The Five Days"
- "Deep Red"
- "Suspiria"
- "Inferno"
- "Tenebre"
- "Phenomena"
- "Creepers"
- "Terror at the Opera"
- "Two Evil Eyes"
- "Trauma"
- "The Stendhal Syndrome"
- "The Phantom of the Opera"
- "The Card Player"
- "Mother of Tears"
- "Giallo"
- "Sleepless"

A series of trailers for Argento films is presented here. Some are English trailers, some are Italian trailers, coming from various sources in a wide range of aspect ratio and picture quality differences.
in 720p AVC MPEG-4, in various aspect ratios, Dolby Digital 2.0 with no subtitles

The 2012 Umbrella Entertainment Blu-ray featured the following extras:

"Fear at 400 Degrees: The Cine-Excess of Suspiria" documentary (34:36)
"Suspiria 25th Anniversary" documentary (51:00)
Exclusive interview with Dario Argento (21:16)
"An Eye for Horror" documentary (56:58)
Photo Gallery (6:49)
International Trailer (1:56)
U.S. Trailer (1:11)
TV Spot (0:29)
Bonus Trailers
- "The Bird with the Crystal Plumage"
- "Cat O'Nine Tails"
- "Deep Red"
- "Tenebre"
- "Phenomena"
- "Phantom of the Opera"
- "No Ho Sonno (Sleepless)"

The 40th Anniversary Edition includes all those extras and adds more. The film has been released on Blu-ray in other countries as well, from the US, UK, and Germany, with each having some exclusive extras.


The rear cover mistakenly states the disc is region B only. Also the cover only mentions English DTS-HD MA 5.1 for the audio rather than the three audio tracks provided, and also mistakenly has a Dolby Audio logo when the film's soundtracks are exclusively DTS. In addition the cover does not mention the subtitles.

The coverart is reversible, with the alternate being exactly the same minus the Australian rating logo on the front being removed.


"Suspiria" is an absolute horror classic in every sense. The incredible visuals, the shocking moments, the unforgettable music score and sound design, and a mood that films have tried to mimic but never fully achieve. Umbrella Entertainment's 40th Anniversary Edition gives excellent marks to the 4K restoration transfer in the video and audio department and adding a very lengthy amount of bonus materials for hours of interest. Very highly recommended.

The Film: A Video: A Audio: A- Extras: A Overall: A


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