Tuesday, 15 June 2010

My Double Bills # 15 Horror double feature: Drag Me to Hell & Suspiria

Remember when horror movie were fun?

Sam Raimi's Drag me to Hell(2009) Starring Alison Lohman, Justin Long, Lorna Raver and Dileep Rao Is a good old fashioned B Movie, in which Raimi returns to his earlier Evil Dead sensibilities. It has an evil old crone, nightmares and hallucinations, The devil, seances and all the other accouterments of a scary movie. It's similar in tone to John Carpenter circa Prince of Darkness with shades of Scream. Whats enjoyable about this movie is that it is unpretentious fun and actually has moments that are genuinely frighteningly. It's also got a great Black ending. Raimi also is the master of the extended comedic gore scene and this has more than it's share of Warner Brothers Road Runner moments. It's a shame that because this film has attractive stereotypical American leads that it may pass some people by.

If Drag me to Hell is the B Movie then the Main feature is Suspiria. Made in 1977 by Dario Argenta this movie has an incredible atmosphere of foreboding and terror; this is in part due to the strange synth score from Goblin and the rich palate of colour used in both set design and lighting. The opening sequence where Suzy Banyon (Jessca Harper) arrives at an airport in a storm and is taken to a baroque boarding school sets the tone, with its deranged score and dream like atmosphere. It has elaborate murders, witches and young women being terrorised by, among other things maggots, bats and Razor wire. But apart from it having a vein of dark humour running through it, it's a hallucinatory and disturbing movie that stays with you. Argenta is a unique filmmaker and many would say this is his finest feature.

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having said that;