October 13, 2015


If ever there was a more visually striking horror movie, we have not seen it. Enormous sets pulsate with so much vivid color they seem alive in their own rite; lights cast red and blue glows from impossible sources, a forest surrounds the school grounds seemingly plucked from someone's nightmare, and don't even get us started on the score!

The plot unfolds something like this: Suzy Bannion has been accepted to a prestigious dance school, and even before she steps foot in the building, strange things start happening. A girl disappears into the night, teachers ritualistically gather at all hours, people die left and right, and nobody seem too bothered by any of it. Suzy's dorm-mate is determined to figure out what's really happening; but then she goes missing as well. That leaves Suzy to put the pieces together herself before she's consumed by mysteriousness as well.

Reasons to watch: This is one of the last films to be shot using the Technicolor process, making it as richly beautiful as it is creatively gory. The set designs were designed with the knowledge this would be shot in Technicolor and are vibrant to the point of glowing. There's some intense gore and drawn out kills. And a twist ending that doesn't make sense, but is pretty fun anyway.

Yup, that's: Jessica Harper (Phantom of the Paradise, Pennies from Heaven), and Joan Bennett (Dark Shadows).

The soundtrack: This Goblin score strays from their signature sound making this more effectively creepy, atmospheric, and largely more haunting than most of their horror scores.

Most creative kills: One of the dancers is killed by room full of razor wire. A woman is pulled through one pain of glass, and then is pushed through another. A dog abruptly, and mortally, turns on a human...

How do we really feel about this film: This film never fails to stir up our creative juices, we can't recommend it enough!

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