𝑤𝑎𝑑𝑒𝑠𝑡𝑒𝑟’s review published on Letterboxd:
love and manipulation
This review is so overdue because I got caught up heavily in playing the RE2 remake that I even forgot about this haha. But after 3 days straight of zombie slaying I bring you a very disoriented opinion on this...remake that feels kinda forced but not needed. I embarked on a massive dissection on this film and the first time in at least 5 years I wrote down notes as it progressed, partly due to understand a more condensed viewpoint and other to my lack of memory nowadays. For real if I didn’t have these notes I would have completely forgot half the film haha and it’s incredible runtime didn’t do any favors.
First thing is I really enjoyed the original but I’m not in love with it, it had its problems but it’s definitely a solid landmark in the horror genre. So references to it now and again isn’t cause I’m a fanboy but more towards how visually narratively innovative it was for its time compared to more films nowadays and not just its remake. The original relied heavily on its atmosphere, lighting, score and editing to deliver very wicked, eerie themes that are still effective today and the remake is kinda cohesive on this. My perception before the film was proven right that this would go more on the sexual nature & attributes on the female location which at this point is cliche independent drivel. I understand that remakes have to become something on its own to add or flesh out the nature that surrounds the tone but this was definitely obligatory. What made the original work was the horror hiding within the frame, stalking Susie...no mention of sex or the showing of graphic nudity. This remakes focuses on the sexuality complexion with gratuitous remarks and eating cunts...wtf is this? This isn’t art it’s cringy dialogue and ostensibly direction. It’s pretentious filmmaking at its most obnoxious and distasteful to its source. There was room to improve but Luca goes down a path to out visualize the classic creating a snobby art gallery painting that has no image just beautiful colors splashed on it. I’m very flabbergasted to see a lot of people very accepting of its graphic content while bashing other films that do the same. I mean it doesn’t bother me but to see characters sexualized definitely creates more frail female moments and it’s disgusting. The ingredients are tossed aside for a more platitude reimagining that immensely missed the point or most likely ignored for unconventional purposes.
Now don’t get me twisted this film is visually pleasing for the most part. But more in fashion than function, yes Dario’s was more on the same but his help the narrative explain the foreshadowing. This besides callbacks is more icing than cake. The camerawork and cinematography is ornamental to the senses and the highest praise I can give the film. Along with its Thom York’s invoking seductive soundtrack that respects classic’s while adding tense notes. I very much enjoyed the soothing title intro music and end credits. Technically the film does its job while the story bankrupts whatever substance it has. To put more salt in the wound there were several editing mistakes (srry nitpick but after working on that for years I just notice them more often) along with awkward cuts early in the film.
The aesthetic dance choreography I really enjoy despite my early gripes, the dedication in those parts were noticeable and commendable. An actual engaging tender performance from Dakota Johnson and do-able acting all around. Tilda Swinton is very talented no doubt about that but 3 roles?? Seriously? Not that it’s a bad thing it just broke the immersion cause it was painfully obvious and hard not to notice.
Deep down this really tried to be different and I respect that to a degree. It’s not a bad movie. Definitely not for everyone either but when it’s goal is to outshine a classic than to build on it in a modern polish it’s just another film that ignores what made the original unique and focuses on the independent weird creepy sexual formula rather than the lurking fear that slumbers in the dance academy. Luca’s vision is faithful in most aspects but certainly uninspired. But the biggest problem is that it tries to stretch a 90min original plot in a 2 and half hour film that overly explains and forced filler sections that nearly put me to sleep. I’d say I was disappointed in this but I wasn’t really looking forward to it in the beginning. Although very daring it’s just another remake that it’s reach far exceeds its grasp and disregards the horror in favor of a more provocative psychological experience.