Abbey’s review published on Letterboxd:
the size of a screen can change your viewing experience immensely, and i’m so disappointed that my first viewing of this film was like a year and a half ago on my laptop in the middle of the day where i was stopping and starting it as i pleased and had the reflection of my window covering half the screen during visually darker scenes. i got up to do other things then came back and wondered why i was so uninvested. (hint: it’s bc ur an idiot, abbey) last night i dimmed the lights, played it on the television and sat back as i let the tension consume me. not surprised in the slightest at how much more it resonated w me.
this film is everything i love about cinema and after watching it w no pauses, just letting it play (as films should be watched; abbey ur a moron) i couldn’t count the amount of times i’ve rolled my eyes at past me on my fingers. this movie relies on your full concentration and mind control and the sound design and score heighten this wonderfully. the constant breaths in and out, the gasping, the crying. it takes over. it’s consuming and powerful and when there is no sound at all i found myself longing for it, desperate for anything to fill the silence. it is a horrifying, mesmerising trip into a freezing cold world. the production design and cinematography work hand in hand beautifully to distort the dance academy and create an overwhelming sense of icy untouched space, slowly filled in over time and altered by the utter power and control consuming the atmosphere. brilliant. the snap zooms and fish eye are used exceptionally and ahhhhh i’m bad with words but it is a perfect film atmospherically.
the pacing is perfect and each act provides something meaningful and apparent to the unravelling story. i do however still have a few issues with the ending. having the final dance as the last scene would of been such a powerful shocking moment to cut away and i feel the extra twenty minutes of susie visiting the doctor drag it on and make for a less satisfying and engaging ending. also felt this way about the beginning a little but it sets the scene and patricia is a notable character so it didn’t stick with me as evidently as the final moments.
the ‘i am she’ scene is one of the most mesmerising film moments i have ever seen. the way it’s filmed, the red and thom yorke’s beautiful score over the messy death and rebirth is an amazing contrast. though another issue i have with the film is mother markos. her portrayal mainly. her character is irritating and her whining throughout such a pivotal moment i feel really took away from the intensity and tension. i was annoyed and that is surely not how i should of been feeling.
also that scene w olga? perfect.
i find it utterly incredible how both suspiria (1977) and this reimagination manage to capture much of the same feelings so well and similarly while being so visually different. the scores on both are two of the best i’ve ever heard. both goblin and thom yorke’s are in my spotify playlists and i get chills most all the time. they’re perfect.
overall i haven’t given this film nearly as much respect as it deserves and i cannot wait to watch it over and over again.