Suspiria (2018) Review

Spoiler-free so you can read before you watch

Suspiria (2018) Review

Horrorific content by adrian on February 08th, 2019 | Movie Review | Slow Burn, Supernatural, Drama, Witchcraft

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It's a re-imagining of the original Suspiria from '77 about an American girl who travels to Berlin to attend a ballet school that happens to be crawling with malicious witches.

Suspiria was directed by Luca Guadagnino and stars Mia Goth (from Marrowbone, A Cure for Wellness), Tilda Swinton (from Only Lovers Left Alive, We Need to Talk About Kevin) and Chloë Grace  (from Carrie, Let Me In, Hallowed Ground, Room 6).

Open your mind and stretch your imagination.

Suspiria Review

The "re-imagining" part of that summary is important because this Suspiria strays pretty far at times from the original. It actually only shares a few key aspects in common with the original, namely the school and the characters. 1977 Suspiria was a quintessential Giallo known for bold use of color and a penetrating soundtrack. 2018 Suspiria isn't a Giallo whatsoever, it's muted visually and has a soundtrack so minimalistic it could rival A Quiet Place. Suspiria in Latin basically means 'deep breaths', which is what you hear most often during the many dance scenes. It's the only dance movie I can think of that had dancers dancing in complete silence.

I personally enjoyed the re-imagining, probably more than I would have if they tried make a modern version of the same story. With classics like these, reboots are always risky. Guadagnino got around this by making what he called a "cover version", a movie made to invoke the same feelings as the original but without being the same movie. And it really worked well. He even placed Jessica Harper, the original Suzy, in a clever cameo role.

And speaking of roles, he had Tilde Swinton play multiple roles in this one. She played the lead of Madame Blanc, she played the High Priestess Markos and she even played an old man (one of only maybe 3 men in the entire cast).

The movie itself was a lot like Hereditary both in length, style and general concept. It's an epic slow burn with a couple of shocking scenes, more slow burn and a WTF crazy ending. I personally think you could shave off an hour and still have a complete film. But overall it works, if anything the 10/10 cinematography keeps you mesmerized throughout.

It's actually hard to talk about Suspiria without risking spoilers, but let's just say the fact that Susie walks into a building full of witches is not the plot twist. Nor is anything else you might be expecting based off the original. It's not a 'scary' movie and there's surprisingly no real suspense. But there is enough body horror and boatloads of blood to qualify it as a horror.

Worth Watching?

If you're cool with slow burns, witchcraft and period pieces than yes. If you're looking for more of a traditional horror than Suspiria might not for be you.

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