Suspiria ★★★★½

If there’s any grand narratives about the film industry right now, it’s that the horror genre is in the midst of a rebirth. Chalk it up to the cyclical nature of what captures both audiences and filmmakers or to the general sense of anxiety permeating our dark political times, horror has made a dynamic “comeback” (was it ever really gone?) both financially and critically. From Halloween storming the box office to Hereditary dominating critical conversation in the early part of the year, it’s hard to deny the leading role horror has played in the recent cinematic landscape. It begs the question: why is horror suddenly considered relevant again? It’s largely because many consider it to be getting smarter, striving to flesh out our modern anxieties in ways few other genres can even dream of.

Suspiria, Luca Guadagnino’s reimagining of Dario Argento’s 1977 horror classic of the same name, is a grandiose vision of that mission. It’s visceral, grimy, and has enough buckets of blood to please any splatter film aficionado, but this is all a consequence of its actions, not its drive. What the film really finds horrifying is the past, the ghost of memory that stretches through time, leaving pain in its wake without consideration of its victims. It’s a sprawling, mesmerizing horror epic designed not to scare you but to unravel you, conjuring up the demons of history to twist you into a grotesque pretzel and toss you aside to the dogs.

Read the full Reel Nine review.

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