Suspiria (2018)

Dario Argento's Suspiria turned 40 in 2017 and to celebrate it cinemas around here screened the movie for a day only. Given the hype surrounding it, I had to go see it. And I was disappointed. Which is why I didn't care much about Guadagnino's remake —also, I'm not the biggest fan of his films. Then the film hit theatres —not in my country— and many people who disliked the original loved this, so I had to check it out. 

The story follows Susie Bannion (Dakota Johnson), a young American ballerina who travels to Berlin to attend the Markos Tanz Company, one of the most renowned dance schools in the world, run by a coven of witches. As Susie quickly becomes the lead in the company's most important ballet, psychiatrist Josef Klemperer (Tilda Swinton) starts investigating the disappearance of Patricia Hingle (Chloë Grace Moretz), a patient of his and former student at the ballet company whom he accused of being delusional. 

When it comes to Suspiria, the plot has proven to be the most important aspect for me. While Argento's was simple, illogical and overall tedious, I found Guadagnino's compelling from start to finish as it keeps you engaged with its twists and turns. Sure, the main storyline is still quite simple and easy to follow and there are many subplots that kind of distract from the main story, but it's all forgiven as it deals with themes of motherhood, sisterhood, national guilt, and, most important, makes a commentary on today's society —Klemperer doesn't believe in witches until he sees them for himself; the witches need a male witness for the ritual to be successful, as if nothing mattered if a man weren't there to witness it.

The characters aren't particularly well developed —they change all of a sudden at the end of the film— and could have used more characterization, and yet they are interesting as they each have their agenda, and we care about them and we helplessly watch them being ignored, lied to and murdered.

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Another aspect that is superior in Guadagnino's film is the acting. Dakota Johnson gives a solid performance as Susie; she captures the innocence and sweetness at the beginning and embraces the darkness at the end very well. Also, she nails the dancing. Mia Goth is great as Patricia's friend Sara, her performance being the more natural. It's Tilda Swinton that absolutely steals the show though. She does a very good job as Madame Blanc, the head artistic director and choreographer of the company, but she is excellent as Joseph Klemperer, the ageing therapist haunted by his past.

As for the visuals, Guadagnino did a wonderful job at delivering a hallucinatory and nightmarish film. The colour palette is outstanding; the cinematography is filled with wonderful close-up and long takes; the make-up is excellent —I didn't realise Tilda Swinton played the psychiatric until the movie ended. As for the choreography, it is absolutely stunning —I can't put down in words how thrilling Susie's first audition was— and the soundtrack by Thom Yorke is excellent.


  1. Ooh I'm glad to hear you enjoyed the remake so much after not liking the original! I skipped this one because I was worried it would be too artsy for me, but I'm hearing good things about it all over again and I might just give it a go now.

  2. I liked the movie but I preferred the first version. The look of this film was great but the score didn't always fit for me. I didn't enjoy Dakota's work but Mia Goth was indeed great!

  3. As someone that loved Argento's film, I actually enjoyed this film as well as I was shocked by the physicality of it and the many thematic elements about generational guilt and the ideas of motherhood as it was better than I thought it would be. It's an insane film yet I loved it. I wanna see it again.

  4. I really wanted to like this and I just...didn't. I'm still so disappointed.

  5. I have heard good things about this film and heard it is better than the first one. Leave to Tilda to play a man convincingly