Films are perfect for when you're after some surface level entertainment. There's no simple pleasure quite as enjoyable as zoning out, laying back, and whacking on a movie that you don't have to pay full attention to, falling into some cheap laughs or easy scares for 90 minutes before getting on with your day. But there will always come a time when shovelling in snacks to baseless Scary Movie instalments loses its sheen, and we become hungry for something that Doritos and Anna Faris just can't provide. Sad, but true.
Never fear, as of course, there's a world of cinema out there that veers in exactly the opposite direction. Instead of bumbling through their run time with little to offer than some shiny, entertaining images, these films pride themselves on offering an experience that dives deep into unknown territories - crafting immersive worlds, concepts, and mysteries for audiences to unravel time and time again.
These might be even harder to find in the horror genre, but they do exist, creating truly unnerving pieces that improve with each watch as you comb over the clues they leave to reach mind-blowing finales...
Known most recently by its 2018 remake, Suspiria is a cult classic of the genre from Dario Argento, and one so sumptuously shot and soundtracked that its easy to see why it's had such a lasting presence in the horror community. Intertwining a rainbow of colour into a story about a ballet school with a supernatural presence lurking in its walls, Suspiria is never forthcoming with its narrative, instead relying on suggestive shots and a drip fed story to reach the conclusion that lead Suzy Bannion is dealing with a coven of witches.
This revelation doesn't come until late into the film, contextualising the events that we've just watched play out - dogs turning aggressive, students getting dramatically murdered, and a strange, breathy figure appearing in the night - into something tangible, meaning its ripe for rewatching as soon as you've gotten through its snappy runtime.
Suspiria is classic Giallo horror, and Argento's pinpoint vision for the film means that it's a joy to dig into all the little clues that craft a witchy whole. Inspired in part by a true story as heard by the film's co-writer Daria Nicolodi and in part by the 1845 novel Suspiria De Profundis, the European influences that make up the story are ever interesting to consume, and combined with his fairy tale inspirations, even more intriguing to attempt to piece together as you dig into Suspiria's vibe.