"The only thing more terrifying than the last 12 minutes of Suspiria are the first 92."note Which is technically true, since most of the film is psychological horror/mystery, while the last twelve minutes are more of an action film with far less gore involved.
Suzy Bannion, an American ballet student goes to perfect her art in a Freiburg Academy. Of course, as young female students are being murdered, this is a bad idea.Probably the most famous (and arguably the best, though it's often in contention with Deep Red for that honor) Dario Argento film, Suspiria is a movie that doesn't play by any rules. It's the first part of the Three Mothers trilogy by Director Dario Argento which also includes Inferno (1980) and Mother of Tears (2007).Fans of Umineko: When They Cry will find quite a bit of value in this film, as the game and series take very heavy inspiration from it.
"Broken Tropes, Broken Minds":
All There in the Manual: The significance of hangings, throat-slittings, the Directoress' distinctive snoring, and the coven's deaths by asphyxiation only make sense if you know that the Directoress is the Mother of Sighs. This is important in the inspiration and the sequels, but makes less sense here.
Dissonant Serenity: After defeating the Load-Bearing Boss, one could almost forgive the victor from forgetting that every last student in the school is burning to death, despite being innocent of wrongdoing, except that said students were actually in town seeing a play with a (apparently not-evil) teacher at the time.
Gorn: During Pat's murder, the killer stabs so deeply you can actually see her heart being punctured, but that's only the beginning. The Magnum release is the only American release with every frame of footage (even the recent DVD releases are missing anywhere from a few frames to a few seconds of footage), and the R-rated cut is only available in a pan-and-scan release, while the uncut version is available in both pan-and-scan and letterboxed releases.
No Name Given: The actress portraying the Directoress Helena Markos, the titular Mother of Sighs receives no casting credit. According to the co-writer of the script, she was a former prostitute found in Rome, but apparently nobody knows anything more about her.
No Ontological Inertia: When Suzy kills the Mother of Sighs, the reanimated corpse pursuing her instantly disappears and soon after that the entire school burns down. This is explained by the eradication of the black magic present there which was accumulated and structured in the form of a coven by Helena Markos.
Nothing Is Scarier: Not a lot actually happens for most of the movie, but the lurid colors and strange sets create an unsettling atmosphere that's gotten under your skin long before any deaths beyond the first two occur.
Slashed Throat: Sara, Suzy's friend, has her throat slashed with a straight razor while trapped in a room full of razor wire.
Slipping a Mickey: The witches-in-disguise slip a drug in Suzy's wine that comes complimentary with her meals.
Sole Survivor: Once the main heroine kills the head witch (Mater Suspiriorum, the Mother of Sighs), the building starts to collapse, and the moment she leaves, it bursts into flames, supposedly killing every single person within the building except for the main heroine. Luckily, that includes none of the student body as they were on a field trip to the theatre.
Spanner in the Works: Were it not for one of the teachers bringing many of the students on an unexpected field trip, the death toll from the destruction of the school after Suzy defeats Helena Markos would've been much higher. The witches were on to Suzy and set up the field trip to ensure there would be no witnesses to her death. Ironically, that just ended up saving more lives when Suzy came out on top.
Vader Breath: While sleeping in the dance studio due to the school being fumigated for maggots, Sara knows that Helena Markos, the founder of the dance school and The Mother of Sighs, is in the room with them because of her loud, wheezy breathing.
Very Loosely Based on a True Story: The story was inspired to co-scriptwriter Daria Nicolodi by a story about her grandmother having run away from a music academy in which they also taught evil witchcraft.
Dario Argento later admitted that this was purely fabricated.
Viewers Are Morons: The out-of-place and totally unnecessary narration in the opening credits of the film.
Wicked Witch: Helena Markos, the Big Bad, she's ancient, she cackles, and curses people.