Suspiria

Suspiria ★★★★½

TREMBLE TREMBLE THE WITCHES ARE BACK.

Luca Guadagnino takes the original tale of witches and ballet and makes it in his own image. A greyed-out world of constant rain or snow is where his Suspiria takes place. It’s the Berlin of 1977 - and everything in the film makes you feel the weight of what is going on. The imperiousness of the wall, the RAF waging war against the government, the nation slowly coming to terms with the trauma of the past.

Into this mess comes Susie Bannion, a Mennonite from Ohio (Dakota Johnson, turning in a career-best showing as our protagonist). I’m going to keep all information on the plot at that. Suspiria is a horror movie, yes - the already infamous scene where a dancer’s body is reduced to a pile of flesh, spit, urine, and blood is the stuff of nightmares - but it’s also a complex and messy look at guilt and shame for past sins.  It’s about women taking back power from men who denied them, who ignored them, who ridiculed them. It’s about motherhood in every sense of the word.

Thom Yorke’s score is sorrowful and haunting, and the imagery it matches (shot by Guadagino’s recent collaborator for Call Me By Your Name, Sayombhu Mukdeeprom) is equal parts beautiful and nightmarish. Suspiria demands to be seen on the biggest screen possible with the finest audio system available. Watch it, grapple with it, think late at night about it - and give your soul to the dance.


PS: TILDA FUCKIN’ SWINTON.

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