Double Feature Friday: Don't Look Now & Suspiria

An ongoing series of horror double feature recommendations, today's Double Feature Friday offers up two '70s tales of traveling Americans confronting madness and the supernatural in Europe.
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An ongoing series of horror double feature recommendations, today's Double Feature Friday offers up two '70s tales of traveling Americans confronting madness and the supernatural in Europe.

BY LIONEL FRANKENSTEIN

Ghoulish horror nerds that we are, we here at Fun Size Horror would love to share with you some of our favorite horror films, but with a twist: instead of just listing off some favorites, each week we'll offer up a pairing of two horror films that compliment one another in unique or fascinating ways.

For our premiere entry, I've decided to conjoin two phantasmagoric '70s classics about two protagonists leaving their comfort zones and confronting madness in Europe. Together, these films form an impressionistic and blood-spattered whorl of insanity, existential horror, and hypnotic scores.

DON'T LOOK NOW (1973/ 110 mins/ dir. Nicolas Roeg)

A horrifying, Hitchcockian thriller, Nicolas Roeg's Don't Look Now is a masterpiece of fragmented editing and cosmic dread, in which the aforementioned Sutherland portrays a father who attempts to escape the grief over his young daughter's recent death by restoring an aging church in Venice. However, he becomes lost in an M.C. Escher'd whirlpool of repetitious elements: premonitions of death, wordless fears of falling, haunted memories of his child, mysterious doppelgängers, jarringly psychedelic visualsand a growing body count generated by a local serial killer all combine to form an ever-tightening noose around Sutherland's sanity... and his mortality. 

Driven by Pino Donaggio's haunting score and Graeme Clifford's masterful editing, Don't Look Now is a mind-breaking benchmark of cinematic dread and the idea that "nothing is as it seems."

SUSPIRIA (1977/ 98 minutes/ dir. Dario Argento)

Taking many of the thematic and visual elements of Don't Look Now (the stranger-in-a-strange-land trope, psychedelia, the possibility of madness, an increasingly claustrophic score) and cranking them up to a near-hysterical 11, Suspiria is a Technicolor tornado of primary color-stained Grand-Guignol setpieces and supernatural horror. The story is relatively simple: an American ballet dancer attends a German dance school, only to discover it houses a coven of witches. The resultant film, however, is anything but simple, as it frenetically develops into a roaring beast of Rube Goldberg death sequences marked with a visual complexity and a terrifying soundtrack by Goblin. A truly frenzied exclamation point of horror that nicely caps off the quieter ellipses of Don't Look Now.

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