The Hipster Llama’s review published on Letterboxd:
Before I unpack by distaste for the film, some positives;
- This film is not afraid to be full on. It commits to being extreme when it needs to.
-The make up
-Jessica Harper subplot
-Thom Yorke's score, which is great and often wrong foots you in the best ways
-The film constantly breaks the 180 rule, it is overused but when it works it really, really works.
-The sound scape
-The body horror, boi.
-Some of the added twists as to who certain people actually are, to stay away from spoilers, that was really cool.
-The scene with detective's penis
-Exorcist inspired dream sequences
I think this film understands the things that I think are wrong with it. The way Swinton talks about dance, about choreography, and the way it is imbued with meaning by the power of image, suggestion of image, placed within context of creation. That for me, is the best level on which cinema can work, the power of the language of the cinema, that is all you should need to understand the theme, that and story, but even on that level it should function in the same way, where the movie doesn't need to explain it to you, you don't even need to explain it, it just works, and you understand it on a visceral level. This is the level they choreograph on, and occasionally Suspiria 2018 does actually work on that level. Guadagnino understands what I don't like about this film. Guillermo del Toro calls the original 'Pure Cinema', this is what I mean, it is purely cinematic language bouncing against the world around it's creation, and creating meaning.
This edition of Suspiria, takes all the things Suspiria 1977 is about, the place of female symbols in the world, fascism, post-fascism, feminism, the value of violence. This is all done by it's context and it's symbols. It is pure cinema. The new Suspiria is about all these things, and it thinks it should sit around and explain it to you. It feels really tacked on, forced in, heavy handed. The result is a very self serious film, very sombre, very serious, very slow, very abstract. It's a film that has the manor of an art film, or something that knows it's very very serious indeed, and it does all the same things, and worse, than the original, which was really fun, purely experiential, much more easy to snoot upon, but it does the art film stuff better.
Now, I like that this film does it's own thing. It really only takes the premise and some character names and that is literally it. I like that, I respect that. That being said, the whole time I was watching it I just knew that there is a better version of this out there that isn't as, to be frank, up itself. Then, the longer I was watching it, the more annoyed I got, the more depressed and sad I got, the more just irritated and tired and bored and I nearly fell asleep a couple of times because I JUST DIDN'T CARE AND ARGH! It is pretentious waffle.
Also, all the moments I should love the most, I was taken out of because of really rubbish CGI gore effects. A lot of them being things that could be done, probably more cheaply, practically, and it'd look a lot better.
I said of Aliens it's like making a sequel to a ballet with a sledgehammer. For me, Suspiria 2018 is like getting a university text book that explains Suspiria 1977, I already have my Suspiria, and I understand it, and it's great and it's really fun, but I have to pay £50 for this rubbish and boring textbook that's giving me nothing I didn't know before.
I didn't hate it though, there's too much that is just undeniably great about it.