Suspiria: Everything You Need To Know About The Three Mothers

Let Mother Take Care of You.

Suspiria Movie
Amazon Studios

Between its incredibly effective new trailer and the strong reactions it's generating at film festivals across the world, the Suspiria remake looks to truly be kicking things into high gear.

The film doesn't hit cinemas until November, which leaves audiences a couple of months time to get acquainted with the source material of what is sure to be one of the most divisive films of the year. It's (obviously) a remake of the original 1977 Suspiria film, but it is also so much more than that.

Following the unexpected success of Suspiria, writer/director Dario Argento was pressured by the studio to craft a follow-up. Little did they know, Argento had originally planned for Suspiria to be the first part of a trilogy of films anyway. In subsequent films, Inferno and Mother of Tears, Argento fleshed out what would come to be known as his Three Mothers trilogy.

And from the looks of the new trailer, Luca Guadagnino's new film may, in fact, be taking on all of this rather than just the original Suspiria section of the story. So in preparation, here is everything you need to know about the densely populated and often complicated story of the Three Mothers.

7. The Inspiration

Suspiria Movie
Produzioni Atlas Consorziate

Argento was originally inspired to create the Three Mothers by reading Thomas De Quincey's Suspiria de Profundis. This was a collection of essays by the legendary writer, which essentially featured him musing on the concepts of life, death, and everything in-between in a melancholy fashion. The English translation of the title is literally 'sighs from the deep'.

In the section titled Levana and Our Ladies of Sorrow, De Quincey muses on Levana (the Roman goddess of childbirth) before coming to the conclusion that if there are three Fates and three Graces, there must also be three Sorrows. He names these three to be Mater Suspiriorum (Mother of Sighs), Mater Tenenbrarum (Mother of Darkness), and Mater Lachrymarum (Mother of Tears).

After a trip that took him through several Europen cities in the early '70s, Argento became obsessed with witchcraft and the occult, with De Quincey's work serving as a primary entry point. Thus, the idea to ground the Three Mothers in primarily European culture was born, as was the idea that each would inhabit a different city.


A film enthusiast and writer, who'll explain to you why Jingle All The Way is a classic any day of the week.