Suspiria ★★★★½

A remake of a classic horror film is a daunting task, particularly one as singular and quirky as Suspiria. Thankfully... Luca Guadagnino wasn’t messing around when he made this film.

If you want instant thrills and cheap scares, this is not the movie for you. Clocking in at over two and a half hours, Suspiria is the type of horror film that is a slow burn punctuated with moments of shocking imagery. Its slower pace and patient peeling back of the story could definitely be a turn off to some, but if you’re patient, the film pays it all off with an absolutely INSANE finale that was way above and beyond anything I was expecting and left me completely slack-jawed.

There had been a lot of hype surrounding this film with some people claiming it would be the “scariest film of all time” and that Dakota Johnson “needed therapy” after filming. I didn’t pay much credence because I feel like I’ve heard these claims before from plenty of films and I didn’t want to fall into the hype machine. That said, Suspiria definitely has some SHOCKING moments of terror and gore. I am not one who gets too affected by gore and violence in movies, but the first death in this film definitely had me squirming in my seat. This was the first film to get a visceral reaction out of me like that since I saw Green Room in theaters. The film is further sold by a talented cast, a superb Thom Yorke score, gorgeous cinematography, and effectively snappy editing. I have a few minor qualms with the film’s presentation (mostly some of the distracting makeup on Tilda Swinson’s psychologist character) but overall this is such an enthralling and unsettling film, that I couldn’t help but feel myself getting pulled in.

Maybe this is too bold a statement, but I think this remake almost just as good as the original. It stays true to the general tone and narrative of the original while never feeling like an exact duplicate. The last few years have seen an outpouring of auteur horror films and we are truly blessed for it.

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