Suspiria ★★★★½

Keep dancing. It's beautiful.

Bloody hell, I did not see this coming. Luca Guadagnino retains enough essence of Dario Argento's 1977 original to pay homage, but makes it very clear early in the film that this is his own monster. The original Suspiria casts a tall shadow for any potential re-imagining to break free from, but Guadagnino's interpretation has its' own definite identity and is filled with elements that make the film instantly unforgettable.

The cinematography is what stood out most to me. Sayombhu Mukdeeprom's slightly unsettling tracking gives the film an air of unrest, and the lighting was arranged very well. The production isn't as saturated as the first film, but ultimately makes for a better contrast in my opinion. The sets and locations serve as a great backdrop for the action, to the effect that it's another character in the film.

Thom Yorke's score was a pleasant surprise, setting the mood quite well. I guess I'm just down for any movie scored by a member of Radiohead. As for acting, I thought everyone was well cast. Dakota Johnson shines, though at other times it feels like the Tilda Swinton show. She was great in each role of her trifecta, but I feel more variety was needed in some of those scenes. I am by no means a connoisseur of dance choreography, but I enjoyed the sort of ritualistic nature of the routines. There's some really great editing that make those scenes incredible to watch. Also, great use of makeup and effects.

Luca Guadagnino's Suspiria is not only stylistically independent from the original, it also touches on outside themes of war guilt and nationalism. The film also touches further on the dynamics of motherhood and abuse of power. I feel more could have been explored regarding these subtexts, given the length of the film. But I suppose I was able to gather the gist of what the film is saying. Obviously, the main focus is on the school and the characters though, and I absolutely loved that aspect.

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