luis ☆’s review published on Letterboxd:
“a delusion is lies that tell truth.”
if you’re expecting a traditional, near-perfect remake of the 1977 original by dario argento, go somewhere else. even luca guadagnino said that this film is supposed to be an homage to the original rather than a straightforward remake. it takes an amazing film and gives us his interpretation of the story. this is his film, and this is why i think it is the best horror remake out there.
(note: the original is one of my all-time favourite horror films, therefore i’m clearly biased, but i looked at this film as its own entity, only comparing it to the original simply to point out differences.)
ok now that we got the spoiler-free section out of the way, let’s get to the good stuff.
guadagnino basically took the skeleton of the story (so the main plot points) and really turned it into his own film, as first seen evident by the fact that this film is almost an hour longer than the original. this is because guadagnino decided to flesh out some of the weaker plot points that weren’t really obvious in the original. this film has a lot more magic in it, and we explore the three mothers, this time the lore surrounding the three mothers being a major plot device. the film also uses very bleak, “winterish” colours, unlike the original, which relies heavily on exaggerated colours. this film doesn’t contain the primary colours that made the original beautiful, and that’s ok, because it was still very beautifully shot. this film also focused a lot more on the dancing, incorporating very beautiful, stylized dance sequences. the choreography in this film really helps with the representation of witchcraft, something that i think was missing from the original. in the original, you don’t really get the vibe that they’re witches until sara says something. in this one, we know right off the bat. that doesn’t take away from it, and in fact, i enjoyed the more obvious magic. it led to a lot of creepiness throughout.
my one issue with this film that made me take off half a star is the ending. i liked the ending. a lot. sure, it’s WAY different from the original, but it is terrifying as all hell, and i love it. however, they’re not getting away with the effects. it looked cheap and bad and i just didn’t like the way the ending looked. that’s all.
this film had AMAZING performances. most notably, tilda swinton, mia goth and dakota johnson. swinton can literally be anyone in any movie and i would eat it up, so makes sense that she served as THREE DIFFERENT CHARACTERS IN THIS HOLY SHIT! goth is so fantastic and i want to see her in more! and johnson has proven once again that she’s a phenomenal actress, the sensuality and creepiness she gives susie is just brilliant.
overall, if you’re going to watch a horror remake, make sure it’s this one.