Suspiria ★★★½

I must agree with Dario Argento, there is no music in Suspiria (2018). None that stands out that is. Thom Yorke's soundtrack is an unequivocal disappointment. Same goes for the lack of color. The drab greys of the setting don't lend themselves well to establishing any sort of style. There are attempts to capture some of the original's magic in this department, but they mostly amount to the occasional odd camera angles or movements that just come off as dated flourishes that feel out of place in what is otherwise a traditionally made modern horror movie.

While it's disappointing to see this remake/reimagining fall short in those areas, my enjoyment of the film ultimately wasn't hindered too much thanks to what an improvement it is narrative-wise. Looking back, the antagonists of the original Suspiria didn't actually seem to be doing much other than just existing. Only taking the time to kill someone if they happened to be stumbled upon. Here though, the coven has motives and recognizable faces. They're using the girls at the dance academy to reach twisted goals and it's a much more sinister movie as a result.

I like how they actually teach dance in this version. It was odd that it never played a role in the original. The performances don't seem all that well choreographed though. Dakota Johnson was great, but the other dancers around her paled in comparison do to their roles in the routines being nowhere near as complex and feeling oddly disconnected from the whole. However, each display is erotic and disturbing enough to remain memorable.

Luca Guadagnino matches Argento's ability to create horrific death sequences. The first major kill in the movie is one of the most violent and hard to watch acts of brutality I've ever witnessed, and I'm something of a glutton for gore and mangled bodies. The extremely bloody conclusion is a little over the top, but is the kind of slaughter any fan of Italian horror cinema will love. The R rating is well earned. Expect gratuitous (yet non-sexualized) nudity and disgusting sights galore.

2018's Suspiria ultimately doesn't hold a candle to the 1977 classic. Stylistic deficiencies aside, the biggest issue with it is that it's so slow moving. It's quite a chatty little film, and one where the conversations don't mean as much as Guadagnino would like us to believe. Yet, it delivers so much memorable, grotesque, and macabre imagery that it's worth watching regardless.

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