John Cawthon’s review published on Letterboxd:
Wow, it has been a journey and a half to make it to this movie and I'm honestly glad that it has been because it makes me appreciate the opportunity to finally see it that much more. The closest this was showing to me in theaters was 3 hours away and it was for a very limited time so I didn't have the chance to experience it the way I wanted to. I waited and waited, not giving in to crappy cam copies or theorists with dissecting reviews. I pre-ordered the blu-ray and resigned myself to wait until the end of January. Well, thankfully I'm a little ahead of the game and got to watch it before then.
"When women tell you the truth, you don't pity them. You tell them they have delusions!"
I'm in a really emotional place today with the men in my life, family and otherwise. I feel hurt and kind of betrayed on a couple of levels so Luca Guadagnino's Suspiria hit me at the right moment. I was destined to view this movie when I did. I don't know if I believe in fate or kismet or whatever, but I do believe that.
It's so goddamn refreshing to watch a movie completely and utterly devoted to women. The only male characters in this film are either played by Tilda Swinton or objectified and ridiculed. In a medium that has spent the majority of its lifespan finding new and different ways to exploit women, that's something to be applauded. Anyway, this isn't really gonna be a review of any kind whatsoever, it'll probably just be a stream of thoughts, which is fitting for a movie like this.
"Love and manipulation, they share houses very often. They are frequent bedfellows."
The juxtaposition of the political terrorism and the emotional terrorism happening in Suspiria is intriguing and definitely a huge part of the story itself. On the outside of this building, there's political upheaval happening and on the inside, there's manipulation at its finest. One of my favorite parts early on in the film is when Olga storms out of the studio and says, "Witches!!" while she's leaving and Ms. Tanner laughs such a delightfully wicked laugh. While Olga heads towards her doom, she encounters more mistresses who laugh and scoff at her. They've had their way with her and they know what's coming next. Just like the tide of politics rising outside the doors of the Markos Dance Academy, the emotional stakes for all those living there are at an all-time high.
"Today we need to break the nose of every beautiful thing."
Two things that struck me very wonderfully are the dance sequences and how Guadagnino films every second of every dance like it's fire. The movements are sexual and sensual while always maintaining the ethereal. It's very elemental and earthy. It's a physical manifestation of anger and hatred and love and loss and all those things that are so heavy on our hearts that sometimes you just want to scream to let it all out. There were a few times where I literally was taken aback at the beauty that was onscreen. So fucking good.
Okay, I've rambled enough for now and I'm sure I'll be rewatching this quite a bit once my blu comes and discussing it more when I'm able to think a little bit more coherently lol. What I wanna end this with though is how far removed this is from Dario Argento's Suspiria. To all the purists out there who are up in arms about this "remake,” let this version live and breathe because it has a purpose all its own. This isn't a remake, it's a reimagining, and the world is better and a little bit darker with it in it. And to try and take that away from those who felt it on such an emotional level or even to belittle those people because you view it as pretentious blah blah blah is like a 5-year-old trying to take away their sibling's toy just because they don't like sharing.