Joseph’s review published on Letterboxd:
I certainly have not had a more polarizing experience with any other film this year. I think I liked this, but at the same time all I can really think to say is “what the fuck?!”
First and foremost, this film is an entirely different entity than Argento’s original masterpiece and all expectations based on that should be left at the door.
This film completely took hold of me all the way until the 6th act. Everything leading up to it presents so much mystery, intrigue, and moments of brutality that took my breath away. By now I’m sure most have heard about the Olga Scene, and oh man, does it live up to its notoriety. The editing in this scene is utterly insane, haunting, and beautiful, which is a word I’m tentative to use since the scene is so ferociously ugly. There are some beautiful and haunting moments of editing that string together the movements of dance with unspeakable horrors done to the body. It’s wonderfully executed and bewildering to watch.
The choreography is also a highlight, captivating in every single instance due in large part to the swooping camera movements and breakneck editing pace. Dakota Johnson is also a huge surprise. Watching her body contort is something I never knew I would be so interested in, and every single scene with her and Tilda Swinton is a gem. Also, a huge shoutout to Mia Goth. She is an incredible talent I demand to see more of!
So as I was saying, everything leading up to the 6th act is captivating, and then the 6th act comes and completely feels like it derails itself with some very conflicting aesthetic choices. Luca certainly attempts to be bold and courageous with his choices, which is commendable. But overall it borderlines silliness and strangely feels underwhelming? It’s a very confounding sequence that completely takes me out of the film rather than fully creating an immersive experience.
Overall I know that this is a film that will fester in my mind for days to come, which is always a good thing. This film is certainly an experience that demands your full attention in order to burrow itself into the deepest parts of your mind and soul. Does it succeed? I’ll let you be the judge.