This movie makes death inviting, the occult real, and me wish that I had seen more good foreign horror films. Suspiria is really something special. I would call it a hypnotizing hallucinatory nightmare. Boy did Suzy (played by Jessica Harper) pick the wrong school to attend.
Suzy, a ballet dancer, joins a school for this art, but finds more than she was asking for. Everyone is accommodating, forcefully so, and despite her strong will she finds herself manipulated into their scheme. For example, she wishes to live off campus, but grows sick at the sight of a palpitating crystal, and finds all her things moved to campus. Everyone is friendly, but a bit off. Meanwhile, murdered people keep turning up.
The set design and rainbow lighting are the key factors in the films uniqueness. It is rare that one finds such visually stunning murders. The set gives a cheery but gothic retro feel to the otherwise standard plot. And though I would never listen to the score apart from the movie, it enhances the scenes.
At one point, I was so creeped out that I had to pause the movie and find out what was making noise behind me (bugs outside and a noisy computer). I'm a sucker, but I'm glad I watched this movie late at night on my own in a dingy musty apartment.
Though the ending could be much better, the movie remains strong for the images evoke a feeling that cannot be discarded. Suspiria makes one believe in the occult, or at least enjoy it a little more.