The Red World of Suspiria (1977)

As the remake starring Tilda Swinton and Dakota Johnson is due to be released this month, we thought we’d take a look at back at Dario Argento’s original ‘Suspiria’ (1977). One of the most beautiful horror movies ever made in terms of visuals, the look of the film is so striking that the winding plot and quirky characters take a back seat. The storyline follows Suzy Banyon, an American dancer who has enrolled in a German dance academy that is crawling with dark intent. Shot in the Giallo style – an Italian horror/thriller genre – Argento’s world is given intense colour, revolving around a red palette, with purple, blue and other vivid brights used throughout to establish a strong and somewhat unusual (for horror at least) look. It’s this element of raw colour that we will look at below, as well as the striking architectural detail and chosen decor employed throughout. 


Exterior Shots

Even the exterior of the Tanz Dance Academy is a vivid red – immediately setting the mood and literal tone.



Wallpaper & Wall Art

The attention to detail in this movie is stunning and the display of plants, foliage and floral motifs makes for a nice break from the red during the easier minutes of the film and the lighter aspects of the story.


Graphic Detail & Linework

Each aspect of design in the main foyer and staircase is heavily detailed, particularly dramatic and makes use of graphic prints, sharp angles, shapes and a very specific palette.



Vibrancy & Shadow

A clever use of shadow, red and blue light and drapery creates very effective sets in both of the scenes below.



Colourful Detail

From neon peacock figurines to rose door ornaments and painted irises, these small additions not only add to the visuals but also add to the story and represent some of the thematic undertones.


*All images are the copyright of Dario Argento, Seda Spettacoli Production and their relevant affiliates.