Suspiria ★★★★

Luca Guadagnino's Suspiria is such a heavy film and there’s a lot to unpack for sure. While I think it’s far from perfect, it’s hard to deny this is a such an ambitious take on the original Suspiria, a hodgepodge of Guadagnino’s sentiments towards Germany’s political past and present distilled into a single film. His relentless efforts to hammer home the thematic messages about guilt and shame, motherhood, and abuse of power through the vigorous examination of Germany’s troubling collective memory can be a bit irksome. And the deranged “sixth act” is an assault to the senses. Still, Suspiria superb in regard to its narrative richness. If the 1977 version is a straight-up horror with strong visual aesthetics, then Guadagnino’s version is a thought-provoking horror with strong socio-political infusion. It’s a beast of its own.

I was ambivalent on the film immediately after leaving the theater, but the movie followed me home and “possessed” me. And I felt like the only way to exorcise it from my mind is to try to comprehend the vastness of the film’s scope. It’s the type of film that surely will benefit from repeated viewings. The performances are great all around, with Dakota Johnson giving a beguiling performance and Tilda Swinton excelling in all of the three roles she plays. But if there’s one thing I’m most impressed by, it’s the Volk dance scene, which is brilliantly edited and choreographed. What a glorious moment of terror!

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