Luca Guadagnino’s new feature is made to shake and wake up the complacent spectator. Very far from Call Me by Your Name both in tone and imagery, Suspiria will leave viewers thinking after the credits and opens up a conversation about history and the definition of evil.
A very polarising film, Suspiria delivers a beautifully crafted cinematic experience with striking performances from Tilda Swinton and Dakota Johnson, performing along with other well-known faces such as Mia Goth and Chloë Grace Moretz. The plot takes us to Germany, during the mid 70s, inside a very prestigious dance academy. Suzy (Johnson) irrupts into the tumultuous European environment straight from the rural States to become the new lead dancer of the next academy show. From then on, things start to get sinister and pretty surreal, lifting and twisting the limits of Argento’s original material.
Needless to say, Guadagnino does a great job at capturing the uneasiness most horror films have forgotten nowadays – which is meant to be the main purpose of any horrific effect. Every shot and sound aims to disturb and make audiences wonder about the plot’s paths and its social subtext. With its non-traditional, three-act linear storytelling, Suspiria breaks all of Hollywood’s standards, delivering a long and slow-burn flick, made for the fans of good photography and introspection.
Thom Yorke’s score adds to the dark atmosphere. Unsettling and majestic at the same time, the music achieves really interesting contrasts that speak to the character arcs and the epic extravaganza that brings them together at the conclusion.
Without giving anything away, motherhood seems to be a very present theme all along, and the two-and-a-half-hour runtime is brought to a pretty spectacular climax, both visually and intellectually. Guadagnino takes many risks on this one and he doesn’t mean to please everyone with them. A film worth admiring and looking at carefully.
Suspiria is released in select cinemas on 16th November 2018.
Watch the trailer for Suspiria here: