Monday, December 1, 2008

10 Minutes of Terror: Suspiria

So I'm daring to be different.

I'm shifting away from my list form for a while and desided to present a nice on going series for a change. Why? Because I CAN!
Well that and since I am constantly adding movies to my horror libarary, my top ten lists tend to change day to day, hour to hour, depending on how ADD I am feeling at the moment.

So I am naming this series "10 Minutes of Terror".
Catchy, huh?
This will be an on going series of posts about my favorite begining horror film moments.
Some horror films start slowly, have a long build up of character developement and tension that explodes in the last ten minutes of the film. Other films start by grabing your crotch, slaping you upside the face, and screaming "WATCH ME, FUCKER!!".

The later is what these posts are about.

I love a good opening sequence. Sometimes even more than a closing sequence. Because if the rest of the movie sucks, at least I have that first ten minutes to make it worth the ticket price. And I didn't even have to sit through 2 hours of dreck to get to it!
Granted, some of these openings vary in time. Some are only five minutes while others are close to twenty. But "10 Minutes of Terror" sounds so much better that "An Indefinite Amount of Time of Terror Near the Beginning of The Movie" so I am sticking with this title.

So to kick this off, I'm starting with an old school classic, Argento's Suspiria.
While Suspiria isn't one of my top all time favorites, its a gorgeous flick with some amazing gory visuals. The colors are bright and wild and the imagery is almost poetic. Suspiria feels like a modern day brothers Grimm story (which it should since Argento's inspiration for it was Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs). We have pretty girls, we have witches, we have bizarrely gory murders that you would only find in a fairy tale, and we have hands down the WEIRDEST soundtrack that has been stuck in my head for the last month.

Suspiria is one big pile of 'What the Fuck?". I'm still not quite sure what the hell happened in that movie but sure had a good time watching it happen!

The part that captivated me the most was the opening of the film...well it wasn't the EXACT opening but I don't think anyone who reads this blog wants to watch clips of a girl leaving an airport even if its shot OH so stylishly. This is about 5 minutes into the film when the most spectacular double murder I have ever seen on film occurs. Here's the clip from Ye Olde YouTube!

Now, while I'm not a gore hound, I'm usually alright with my gore. But this scene makes me flinch like a 3 year old. I don't know if its the colors, the acting, or just how surreal it all is but it makes me cover my eyes, EVERY time.

The entire scene starts with those intense colors, mostly blues in the beginning, then as the tensions grow they become brighter and brighter until the screen is splashed in just raw primary with the women so washed out they look like ghostly white figures. The murders themselves are just strange and almost convoluted. The window smothering, the stabbing, the hanging, and the glass all seem to fit together in this horrific ballet of insanity. Even the actors movements seem to be over the top and graceful, like a dying swan....a screaming, bloody, terrified, dying swan. Now I WOULD say this was the best part of the film but trust me, there is another murder that tops this one. I won't say more if you haven't seen the movie.

Suspiria is pretty old school so if you're a younger horror fan who has just started getting into it all this one might have slipped under your radar (I just discovered it a year ago). If you haven't seen it, its definitely worth the netflix rental.


John said...

These are the kinda posts I like to read. No offense, but I can't really share your guys glee with wanting to bed Michael Myers!

I was actually thinking of doing a similar thing on my blog at some point but I can cross that off my to do list now!

Cins said...

*LOL* Oh Trust was not least not for me it wasn't. I can't speak for Stac since she's the one with the freaky fantasies;)

Don't let me stop you if you want to! You know I'll read it. I love reading about people picks. Also, if you know of any films with great openings that you like feel free to toss them my way!

Stac said...

I love Suspiria, and have the theme song on my iPod AS I TYPE THIS!

I think the actual opening credits are creepy too, with the hair brushing and the screaming and all.

John-- I was not the one who chose the dreams. I just enjoyed 'em!

Stac said...

BTW: Is 10 minutes of terror like 7 minutes in heaven?

John said...

great film openings, hmm...

Scream and the Dawn of the Dead remake come to immediate mind

Cins said...

Stac>>I suppose it would depend on the guy you were with. ;D

John>>Dawn of the Dead Remake is definitely on my list. Scream i am considering doing. I need to get over how cliche the movie has become and remember how insanely scary it was when I first saw it.

Off topic but I so need to enter your Movie Plot contest! I need to bump heads with Stac on something good.

BonesawLtd said...

Suspiria IS one of my favorite flicks. Mainly because of the cinematography and score.

Argento definitely has a way of blending suspense, terror, and gore into his kill scenes.

Great Clip!

Cins said...

Bonesaw>> Suspiria is defintely one of the most beautiful horror films I've ever seen. I was really taken back by the use of color.
I'm also finding its one of those movies that sneak up on you. After I watched it once I was a bit confused and indifferent. The more I think about it the more I liked it. Total Movie Grenade!

Jason Takes Portland said...

I have always thought Suspiria was over rated except for the opening.

Other great openings?
How about the Descent, Jaws or the original Halloween?

Cins said...

JTP>>Jaw is DEFINITELY on the list. Its one of my favorite openings of all time and never gets old for me. The Decent, which I loved, didn't have quite the impact in the opening that I would consider complete terror. Not that it wasn't errie though! The Ending of that film? A whole different story. That movie is in my top ten and I really need to own it on DVD someday.

Cins said...

JTP>>OH! And I never thought of Halloween for some reason. Good one!

Metal Mikey said...

It wasn't until my last viewing of "Suspiria", which was about 2 months ago, that I really "Got Into It". Now I consider it to be one of my favorite Horror movies, in general. I do agree that the opening murder sequence is startling, but my personal favorite opening sequence from the movie is when the girl runs from the academy, across the moonlit field. It's just so... damn... CREEPY! Great choice of new topic to go on!

(Oh, and as for great opening sequences, since it was the last movie I took in, you don't get much better than Fulci's "The Beyond". Even before the credits roll, we get a guy whipped with chains, crucified, and having hot... um... melty substance thrown at home.)

Cins said...

Mikey>>That was some GREAT Imagry! I have to admit, one of my favorite visuals is such a throw away moment. At the very begining when our heroine walks out of the airport and theres that hiss of air and her hair and skirts fly about for just a moment. I don't know why, but it really gave me the willies. I'm weird. I know this.
I have never seen The Beyond! I do believe I will have to check this out. Thanks for the tip!

Nojh said...

Ooh! Ooh! I remember one. I'm pretty sure Cins and I watched it. Ghostship yes? With the dancing on deck? That was awesome! You should review that one.

Cins said...

Nojh>>Yes! Ghostship is on the list! Kinda a crappy movie but I LOVED that opening!