Suspiria (2018) Horror Movie Review
Written By: JM
Edited By: Grave Reviews Staff
Director: Luca Guadagnino
Screenwriter: David Kajganich
Producer: Marco Morabito, Brad Fischer, et. al.
Date Released: October 26, 2018
Dakota Johnson as Susie Bannion
Tilda Swinton as Madame Blanc / Dr. Josef Klemperer / Mother Helena Markos
Mia Goth as Sara Simms
Chloë Grace Moretz as Patricia Hingle
Jessica Harper as Anke Meier
Rating = 3/5 Graves
***May contain some spoilers***
In this remake of Dario Argento’s Suspiria (1977), talented American ballerina Susie Bannion (Dakota Johnson) leaves her homeland to travel to West Berlin and enroll in the Markos Tanz Company. She quickly becomes the favorite of Madame Blanc (Tilda Swinton), who sees strong potential in her that she has never seen in any other student before. What Susie doesn’t know is that the dance school is a coven ruled by powerful witches who have been tormenting its students in their search of a perfect host body for their aging leader. But as Susie begins mysteriously defying the expectations of the coven by embracing a role that no one has ever embraced, madness quickly escalates into supernatural mayhem.
The Gore Factor
Unlike the original 1977 version, Luca Guadagnino’s Suspiria isn’t a giallo blood-fest; you will have to sit through a lot of contemplative moments that precede the much-craved for violence. However, when the violence does come, it wildly explodes. The gallons of blood splattering, limbs violently breaking, and horrific screams of pain and terror are quite a treat. There’s a memorable scene in which a woman is slowly disfigured to the point that she’s beyond recognition and the prosthetic work is realistically gruesome. it’s sure to disgust the easily-queasy but delight those who enjoy gore.
The Grave Review
Horror remakes are a big thing especially in the USA but director Luca Guadagnino aimed to change the game by making a remake that veers away from the original. Guadagnino’s Suspiria swims deep in its exploration of politics and feminism as much as it swims in blood and the deep mythology of witches. It makes for a fun way of grabbing insight about such topics that you’d think you find outside the horror genre.
The terror in Suspiria (2018) doesn’t come from jump scares, CGI, or predictable moments of shock; they come from a building sense of dread that is carefully crafted into each scene.
Take for instance the long scenes in the first half of the movie where the company’s students dance to eerie music (masterfully composed by Radiohead frontman Thom Yorke). There’s nothing one would deem scary about these scenes but the way they’re put together eerily generates discomfort. It all makes sense during the latter parts of the film where most of the terror comes from dancing: a character’s entire body slowly crumples and breaks as if she were doing a strange dance, one of the dancers has a terrible accident while performing where a broken bone can be seen sticking out of a wound, and there’s a grand dance scene in the final act that turns into a delicious bloodbath.
You will also have to stick it out during a lot of surreal moments that are hard to make sense of if it’s your first viewing, such as Susie’s visions filled with dark mysterious images. However, like the eerie dancing, said images do make more sense the closer you get to the film’s striking climax, which will make you want to watch the film again just to have a better perspective on things. And by the end, it’s easy to forget that this was actually a remake of something, because it feels as fresh and awesome as any other original horror.
It also contains a pretty cool nod to the original Suspiria (2018) by adding a new character which the original Susie Bannion actress Jessica Harper plays. But even if you haven’t seen the original, this is very much worthy of your time if you enjoy a good art house horror.
For the reasons stated above, Grave Reviews gives Suspiria (2018) three out of five graves.
Do you agree with our review? Comment below.
You may also like our review of the film, Chiller.