Theatrical Review – Suspiria – Synapse Films


Director: Dario Argento 

Screenplay: Dario Argento and Daria Nicolodi

Minutes: 98

Year: 1977

Score: 7.67

Release: Synapse 4k Theatrical Tour

We need to have a talk about restorations. First off, I am an unrepentant fan of Susperia and I feel lucky to have been able to watch this restoration in the theater and that I got to share it with some friends. One of which reviewed the film at, “well that was fucked up.” So, mission accomplished.


Dario Argento’s masterpiece of horror comes to home video from Synapse Films in an exclusive new 4K restoration from the original uncut, uncensored 35mm Italian camera negative and with the original 4.0 English surround sound, for the first time EVER! Painstakingly restored over the past three years, Synapse Films has created the ultimate special edition of SUSPIRIA with the supervision and approval of the film’s Director of Photography, Luciano Tovoli, and loaded with a separate Blu-ray disc of amazing extras! SUSPIRIA is presented in its original glory for its 40th Anniversary!

I have been bugging Synapse about their restoration for a while know and last week they announced a screening at my local indie theater The Nightlight. (Note: I have a financial stake in the theater since I help, on a micro level, on buying their new, very, comfy seats.) I logged on and bought two tickets within minutes of seeing the announcement tweet. I was in, and I conned my wife to go, too.

Now, about restorations, they are great, really, and I am a strong supporter of them, but, sometimes they can highlight the zits on a film. This is a very real issue for Susperia. The blood looks very fake, the dog is a hand puppet and the bat, oh lordy the bat. While this is an issue, and will take some first-time-viewers out of the experience, it is a part of the film, and of genre history itself.

Now, I have said the acne is prevalent but it is well worth all of the hard work and hours hunched over a computer to clean up and present a jaw-droppingly gorgeous version of this seminal film. The lighting, which is one of the premiere features which I use to sell the film to people, is breathtaking. The colors explode off the screen. The Goblin score will make your ears bleed (not literally, but close).

What Synapse has done here is to craft the essential version of this film. They have just announced the limited edition Blu-ray steelbook release to take home and it is stacked with special features. I have pre-ordered it, nearly with the speed I used to purchase the theatrical tickets, because I love the film and have been eager to replace my old, gross, DVD. It is expensive, yes, and they, historically, announce a non-limited release in about a year, if you can wait. But if you are still reading this you are probably a film junkie and a lover of physical media, of boutique Blu-ray labels, and know how important they are to our avocation. That is why you should pre-order this. They have to pay the bills and it will also help them to do more phenomenal releases like this one.

So, if you have a chance to catch this in your local, art-house, cinema then do yourself a favor and get tickets now. If not, go to the cinema anyways, watch a movie, and tell them what you would like to see. Either way, if you have the bread you should pre-order this release. You will not be disappointed. 

Special Features:

  • Limited edition of only 6000 units produced
  • Exclusive Steelbook packaging and collector’s o-card sleeve, featuring artwork from Malleus, Van Orton Design, Juan José Saldarriaga & Chris MacGibbon
  • Three disc [Two Blu-rays + One CD] limited collector’s edition (only 6000 units) containing a new 4K restoration of the original uncut, uncensored Italian 35mm camera negative exclusively done by Synapse Films, with color correction supervised and approved by SUSPIRIA Director of Photography, Luciano Tovoli
  • Original 4.0 1977 English language LCRS sound mix not heard since the theatrical release in 1977, presented in high-resolution DTS-HD MA 96 Khz/24-bit audio
  • Italian 5.1 surround sound mix
  • Two audio commentaries by authors and Argento scholars, Derek Botelho, David Del Valle & Troy Howarth
  • Do You Know Anything About Witches? – 30 minute SUSPIRIA visual essay written, edited and narrated by Michael Mackenzie
  • Suzy in Nazi Germany – Featurette on the German locations from SUSPIRIA
  • A Sigh from the Depths: 40 Years of SUSPIRIA – All-new anniversary retrospective on the making of the film and its influence on cinema
  • Olga’s Story – Interview with star Barbara Magnolfi
  • Original theatrical trailers, TV spots and radio spots
  • Special Collector Edition Booklet containing an American Cinematographer interview with Luciano Tovoli, liner notes by Derek Botelho and restoration notes by Vincent Pereira & Don May, Jr. Cover artwork by Matthew Therrien Illustration
  • “International Classics” English “Breathing Letters” opening credit sequence from U.S. release version
  • Alternate All-English opening and closing credits sequences, playable via seamless branching
  • Newly translated, removable English SDH subtitles for the English language version
  • Newly translated, removable English subtitles for the Italian language version
  • Exclusive CD remaster of Goblin’s SUSPIRIA motion picture soundtrack, containing additional tracks not included on the original 1977 soundtrack release

Director: 10 – Cinematography: 10 –  Edit: 6 – Parity: 6 – Main performance: 8 – Else performance: 1 – Score: 10 – Sound: 7 – Story: 6 – Script: 5 – Effects: 8 – Design: 10 – Costumes: 8 – Keeps interest: 10 – Lasting: 10