I did get the Nouveaux Pictures disc of Suspiria, on DVD rather than Blu-ray due to the issues discussed above with the overblown picture, which was very noticeably over brightened from previous versions of the film that I've seen even to my untrained eyes (hopefully one day there'll be a version that combines the best picture with the best soundtrack, but we'll probably have to wait for whoever 'remasters' the film next). All was not lost however since I mostly picked the disc up for the commentary which was up to the usual standards of Alan Jones and Kim Newman - I especially liked the idea of Argento having an interesting Antonioni influence that is mentioned again here after being initially put forward during their Bird With The Crystal Plumage commentary. It is a fascinating influence to think about as rather privileged, alienated from society characters wander around their hyper-composed environments that, in a way, end up doing their emoting for them. Perhaps Argento simplifys the angst expressed somewhat, giving the characters much more defined and accessible hero and villain roles (while simultaneously spinning off into bizarre, theatrical and supernatural regions) than in Antonioni, and in Agento the characters express perhaps simpler emotions of mounting dread and terror than simply existential ennui and lack of purpose, though the sense of drifting to the films feels similar.
I also rewatched Inferno again while this Antonioni connection was still playing on my mind, and I found that very early sequence of moving from the image of the sinister building where the action will take place in a book, to a larger though still monochrome picture on the wall, to the full gaudily coloured building itself, to perhaps be a similar technique to the one used in the darkroom sequence of Blow Up. The moment occurs at about the three minute point of this video
On the idea of 'mounting dread', I think that is perhaps what can sometimes feel anti-climactic about Suspiria and Inferno - I see many of the sequences of both films as extended digressions, playing out a situation from a particular wandering character's point of view as they accumulate clues or knowledge about their predicament until they reach a literal dead end. There is a strange sense in which knowledge, learning and a general sense of awareness of your surroundings and their true meaning is the cause of the character's deaths - that inquisitiveness is somehow fatal. Or maybe that learning, but not immediately putting that knowledge to purposeful use, is the cause of the character's downfalls? (This is perhaps modified in the early sections of Inferno to become the way that the initial letter drags in a series of characters who would otherwise have remained safely ignorant to their deaths) Perhaps that is why Suzy Bannion as the ostensible protagonist of Suspiria, has her investigations confined to the final sections of the film, and the way that her (albeit very slow during the early sections of the film!) dawning awareness is at the same time combined with her entry into the inner sanctum to bring down the coven.
For the film itself perhaps the reason why the murders feel anti-climactic is that it can seem as if the filmmakers have reached a dead end - that they have exhausted all possible methods to stretch out the tension any longer and therefore have to, rather sadly, kill off the character we have been following and start afresh with another to cover similar but different looking territory (There is perhaps a Psycho influence, as well as an Antonioni one, there in getting rid of one character to shift focus to exploring another)
I also noticed from the Cine Excess advert on the disc that this 'taking tash seriously' label is going to bring out editions of The House With Laughing Windows, a modern film called Viva
which I don't know anything about but which looks sort of psychadelic from the clip on the disc, and a series of ten "chosen by Roger Corman himself" films, mentioning The Big Bird Cage, Big Bad Mama and Grand Theft Auto. They are apparently also going to release Amsterdamned - a serial killer film that I remember catching part of on late night television ages ago (in a double bill with Puppet On A Chain, which conveniently featured a speedboat chase through Amsterdam canals) and would quite like to see again. It was made by the chap who had previously made the horror film The Lift, which he later remade in the US as The Shaft with Naomi Watts the same year she was in Mulholland Drive.