Suspiria ★★★★½

Suspiria is latin for breathlessness; suspirium is sigh.

So: breathlessness, the feeling that you can’t breathe well enough; and to sigh, to release a long exhalation of sadness, relief, tiredness. Then between them, between the paused inertia of breathlessness and the pent-up release of a sigh? A rhythm, a movement, something alive and primal.

Suspiria takes your breath and restores it with equal deftness. It reaches down into a raw opening between grace and grotesque. And then more and more the further you plunge in: rebirth, performance, division, retribution, recreation, authority. A thematic puzzle-piece that will assuredly need another viewing to piece together.

The cinematography is incredible: splintering mirrors, swooping movements, abrupt cuts. And its chaotic climax has successfully seared itself into my mind. Suspiria is unsettling, disturbing, and absolutely riveting.

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