Scream Screen: Suspiria

Few filmmakers inspire more divergent reactions than Italian horror director Dario Argento, who started off his career in the late ’60s with Hitchcock-infused masterpieces like Four Flies on Grey Velvet, The Cat o’ Nine Tails and Deep Red, and eventually descended into overdone grotesqueries like his most recent films, Dracula 3D and The Mother of Tears.

One notion that Argento fans can agree on, though, is that Suspiria is a masterpiece of terror, and you can check out the film tonight on 35mm film as part of the Alamo Drafthouse’s monthly Scream Screen horror series.

“As someone who watches a ton of horror movies, I’ve still to this day never seen anything like it,” says Theresa Mercado, curator and host of the series. “It is incredibly stylistic, using bright saturated colors, locations that look like they were built as sets in a Jodorowsky movie (but are naturally existing), a soundtrack by extreme prog-rock band Goblin and a creepy nothing-is-as-it-seems story. It is truly a unique, one-of-a-kind film.”

The film stars Jessica Harper as an American ballet student who arrives at an Italian dance academy to find her fellow students being picked off, in beautifully gory ways, by a demonic creature that may or may not point to a coven of witches running the school. In other words, not your standard horror fare for 1977. Sure to leave a mark, Argento’s film was the last (for a few decades) to use the true Technicolor palette of vivid primary colors in its film development, which bodes well for every shot of glorious blood that makes its way onscreen.

Suspiria screens tonight at 7:30 p.m. at the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema, 7301 South Santa Fe Drive in Littleton. Tickets are $7 at
Wed., Jan. 28, 7:30 p.m., 2015