Skip to main content
padlock icon - secure page this page is secure

The ornamental and the monstrous: Exploring feminine architecture in Dario Argento’s Suspiria (1977)

Buy Article:

$14.00 + tax (Refund Policy)

In the cinema of Dario Argento, the architecture frequently draws attention to itself and often cross-contaminates various eras and influences within a single film. However, in critical discussions of his 1977 film Suspiria, the interior styles deployed and their thematic and political relationship to the characters themselves have not been as arduously explored. This article will seek to argue that the architecture in Suspiria embodies a rhetoric in art criticism and the horror film that posits feminine styles as ornamental and somehow dangerous and deceptive, and the female body as unknowable and treacherous – ultimately perpetuating the idea that a woman’s sexual difference in all its manifestations is an unassailable threat to man and the progress of modernity. The first section will introduce the various theories and existing literature surrounding Argento, while the second engages with how the film uses ornament and the ‘pretty’ in relation to its female characters. The third section seeks to elucidate how the architectural recreation of maternal and anatomical imagery ties in with theories of ornament and modernity, while the fourth and final part will observe the role of waste in a building that is both decorative and antiquated in a modern context, where everything is measured by utility.
No Reference information available - sign in for access.
No Citation information available - sign in for access.
No Supplementary Data.
No Article Media
No Metrics

Keywords: Argento; Art Deco; Art Nouveau; Italian; architecture; gender; horror; witches

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: University of Warwick

Publication date: April 1, 2019

More about this publication?
  • Horror Studies intends to serve the international academic community in the humanities and specifically those scholars interested in horror. Exclusively examining horror, this journal will provide interested professionals with an opportunity to read outstanding scholarship from a variety of disciplinary perspectives, including work conceived as interdisciplinary. By expanding the conversation to include specialists concerned with diverse historical periods, varied geography, and a wide variety of expressive media, this journal will inform and stimulate anyone interested in a wider and deeper understanding of horror
  • Editorial Board
  • Information for Authors
  • Subscribe to this Title
  • Intellect Books page
  • Ingenta Connect is not responsible for the content or availability of external websites
  • Access Key
  • Free content
  • Partial Free content
  • New content
  • Open access content
  • Partial Open access content
  • Subscribed content
  • Partial Subscribed content
  • Free trial content
Cookie Policy
Cookie Policy
Ingenta Connect website makes use of cookies so as to keep track of data that you have filled in. I am Happy with this Find out more