Suspiria (2018) Review

Posted by Jaffy Crisologo on

    Luca Guadagnino's Suspiria remake is eccentric, gruesome, and disturbing in the best way possible. The story is told through six progressively arresting parts. The original's main story beats are present here, as it begins with a young woman named Suzy Bannion in Berlin during Wall-era Germany make her way to a prestigious dance school called Markos Academy. It doesn't take too long after Suzy's arrival before several strange events happen with some students, including one of the most visually and audibly gruesome scenes in recent memory. As Suzy acclimates herself, including making friends with Sara and taking on the lead dancer's role, she also begins to uncover oddities at the Academy.    

    Tilda Swinton's stern head instructor, Madam Blanc, is the standout character, and let's just say she is utilized in the movie more than you know. She really is a cinematic chameleon. The other instructors' are certainly not as memorable, other than that their demeanors belie insidious motives. Another important figure, Dr. Josef Klemperer, weaves in and out of the story as he investigates the goings-on at the school and with one of its former students, Patricia (whom we see exert paranoia the opening scenes). Eventually, his story funnels towards Suzy's and the rest of the school's in a bloody, revelatory act. I still can't seem to forget the scene. 

    Thom Yorke's haunting score, while sparsely used, is fantastic, particularly in a dance scene with fast cuts and an underlying pulse. It is pretty much the complete opposite of the original's loud, abrasive (but equally great) score by Goblin. On a technical level, Luca seems to pay homage to the original with odd choices in cuts, angles, and camera movements at sporadic moments. Sometimes they can be jarring, but when they make sense, such as during dream sequences, they are effective. The jury's still out on whether Dario Argento's cult Italian horror classic really needed a remake, but now that it's arrived, I highly recommend it.

B+


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