Suspiria: Mesmerizing avant-garde film honoring Argento’s original

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Image courtesy of Amazon Studios

One of the best slow-burn horror movies of 2018, Suspiria, is a film best described as a reimagining of the ’77 classic, and not a remake. Let’s review….

One of the most highly anticipated horror movies of 2018 is now in theaters on a limited release, Suspiria. Dario Argento’s 1977 original is largely considered one of the best avant-garde horror movies of all time, and Luca Guadagnino’s 2018 reimagined film is one of the most creative and unique genre flick in years. If you enjoy art house horror movies, then Suspiria is a must-watch.

Directed by Guadagnino and written by David Kajganich, Suspiria stars Dakota Johnson (Susie Bannion), Mia Goth (Sara), Chloe Grace Moretz (Patricia Hingle), and Tilda Swinton, who takes on three different parts. As most fans know by now, the multi-talented Swinton not only portrays Madame Blanc, she also donned age-old makeup to play Dr. Jozef Klemperer. As far as Tilda’s third role, for horror fans that don’t already know, it’s probably best to find that out on your own while watching the Amazon release unfolds.

Image courtesy of Amazon Studios

During production, both Swinton and Guadagnino insisted Suspiria wasn’t a remake of the ’77 giallo classic, but rather, a reimagining. Of course, there are some similarities between the two horror movies; both center on the main character of Susie (spelled Suzie in the original), a young woman from the States who is accepted into a world-renowned dance academy in Germany; the dance school is controlled by a coven of witches; the “Three Mothers” theme is present in both films; and a bunch of people get murdered and confusing, scary happenings ensue.

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But as far as the direction and reveal of the story, the 2018 Suspiria takes a very different path, finding a voice of its own. I was a bit nervous going into this horror movie, as I can’t stand a shot-for-shot remake, like 1998’s Psycho. Much to my delight, this is most definitely a reimagined film that tells a different story.

The film takes place in 1977 and opens with Patricia, a dance student, frantically entering Dr. Klemperer’s office. Though she is talking incoherently, Patricia makes one thing clear—the Markos Dance Academy is controlled by witches. The psychotherapist assumes she is delusional, and the young dance student leaves as frantically as she arrived, and we’re off to the races. Well, the slow-burn races.

With a runtime of 152 minutes, Suspiria is longer than most horror movies. You’ll feel every minute of slow-burn city, but it’s well worth the watch. The director took his time in building the story and giving the characters depth, and that makes the finale all the more powerful.

As expected, Patricia mysteriously vanishes. Though Chloe Grace Moretz isn’t in this horror flick for long, the talented actor certainly does a great job in portraying the hysterical Patricia. I would love to see a prequel made one day revealing the events that sent Miss Hingle into a world of madness. Since the dance school is down a dancer, Susie gets her chance.