Suspiria: A Remake Done Right.


John DiPietro, Writer

It’s very rare nowadays to see an actually good remake of a classic movie. Most remakes of today are nothing more than carbon copies of their predecessor that bank on the nostalgia of the fans. However, recently Dario Argento’s cult classic Suspiria was masterfully revised and executed by director Luca Guadagnino, who made Call Me by Your Name. I’ve watched both versions of Suspiria, and besides sharing the same plot, the new one is a far cry from the original. While the 1977 orignial is very colorful and pulpy, the remake is the antithesis of that. There is very little color in this new film, which works as its story is much more gritty in tone and in style.

When watching this film, it felt like I was watching a movie that was made in the 70s. The bizarre and often times jarring quick edits made this film feel like a genuine classic of the past. This film is pretty much, aside from two policemen characters, an all-female cast. Tilda Swinton plays three different characters in this film (kind of like Peter Sellers in Dr. Strangelove), and one of them is an old man. The movie makes a lot of good decisions that better the story and make it a unique reimagining of the original. In this version, characters like Suzy (played by Dakota Johnson) and Dr. Klemperer are given more time to develop, making them more interesting and fleshed out. I’m very tired of films that hit me over the head with obvious messages and what is going on in their story, however, this movie does not do that. It reveals little bits of information throughout, allowing the viewer to connect the dots and become invested in the story. Another positive is the soundtrack by Thom Yorke, which is absolutely fantastic. His music varies from unsettling to overwhelming to very relaxed and calm throughout the film.

There is a lot of disturbing imagery and visuals that don’t rely on jump scares to force a reaction. This entire film earns its emotions through its well thought out scenes. Some moments you will feel mesmerized and calm to the perfect dance choreography, while other times you’re disgusted and horrified at the brutal and visceral yet satisfying deaths that transpire. Overall, there is a lot going on in this film. It’s very ambitious in its presentation, but succeeds in telling a well thought out story in the end. It is not a movie for everyone, and it doesn’t hold your hand or give you a direct answer, but Suspiria is certainly an entertaining horror movie.