Suspiria (2018)

Director: Luca Guadagnino
Writer: David Kajganich
Remake of: Suspiria (1977)
Cast: Dakota Johnson, Chloë Grace Moretz, Tilda Swinton, Doris Hick, Malgorzata Bela, Angela Winkler, Vanda Capriolo, Alek Wek, Jessica Batut, Elena Fokina, Mia Goth, Jessica Harper
Seen on: 20.11.2018

Susie (Dakota Johnson) comes to Berlin to study at the Markos Tanz Akademie, a ballet school, where she is accepted since a dancer, Pat (Chloë Grace Moretz), just left. As Susie soon finds out, Pat didn’t simply leave. Something more is going on in the mysterious academy and with the help of her fellow student Sara (Mia Goth), Susie starts to investigate.

Suspiria is a visually strong, affective film that proves that watching a film is a very physical experience. It’s captivating in an hypnotic way.

The film poster showing eyes in a splatter of blood.

Kajganich and Guadagnino must have seen the old Suspiria and thought the same thing as I did: but why is there no dancing? Because there is definitely dancing here and it is glorious. The choreographies themselves were great, but the way the film connects them with violence and how it affected me as a viewer, that could be a textbook example for “visceral”. I did not just appreciate the aesthetics of the dance scenes, I felt their force and their violence in every fiber. Not easy to take, but really good.

Generally, the film was visually even more stunning and emotionally definitely more affective (and effective) than the original. It drew me right in and never let me go. And I have to attribute this mostly to the film’s emotional landscape, and the great cast, because the plot could not keep up with the rest of the film.

Dakota Johnson in the film

First, there was the therapist who was not only not interesting, I kept wondering why we needed him in the story at all. He is the only man with a presence of note and he feels completely shoehorned in, as if they couldn’t even imagine that the film works without a male presence. It would have. It doesn’t work with it. And I was never entirely clear about what it is the witches actually want. I mean, when they are not fighting for power among themselves, what are their goals? But worst of all was the ending, that was simply ableist fuckery. [SPOILER] You get these women whose bodies were broken, and maybe broken in a way that even witchcraft couldn’t heal them entirely, who knows. So all three of them opt for a “mercy kill” rather than live life with disability. Fuck that noise. [/SPOILER]

Whether those weaknesses outweigh the sheer hypnotic force of the film or not will probably depend from person to person. Personally, it worked plenty for me.

Tilda Swinton in the film.

Summarizing: Strong.

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