Suspiria (2018)

Luca Guadagnino directs Dakota Johnson, Tilda Swinton and Mia Goth in this remake of Dario Argento’s witches coven hidden in a dance academy shocker.

Like the very best remakes, this uses the basic concept and pitch of an old standard as a jumping off point to make a very different experience. Sadly Suspiria 2.0 is an overlong and over cooked pudding, often grindingly pretentious. Guadagnino seems so keen to tie onto the basic plot, strands about the Baader-Meinhof Group, holocaust survival guilt, Cold War divisions, the conflict of new and old feminist narratives… that the body of the film (Witches / Dances) gets lost in a struggle of knots. The most frustrating thing is the 30 or so disparate minutes of pure horror are pretty strong. Repulsive dream sequence montages, supernatural injury gore, cursed modern dance thrash outs. Thom Yorke’s thrumming score and Sayombhu Mukdeeprom’s colour limited cinematography are lush. It is easily the most erotic movie of the year… though Dakota Johnson probably shouldn’t be leading ensembles, as aesthetically pleasing as she looks (Mia Goth pretty much takes over as rush protagonist for swathes and it is a relief). As for Swinton, she is great for two of her three roles but once you twig who else she is playing it does lend the boring drama section of the narrative an air of Coming to America. Rubbery pranks and extraneous subplots about European 20th century psychological scars wallow hand in hand… in jarring longueurs that have nothing to do with Argento’s luridly damaging original. 

4

My Top 10 Remakes

  1. John Carpenter’s The Thing (1981)
  2. The Bourne Identity (2001)
  3. The Last Of The Mohicans (1992)
  4.  Ringu (1998)
  5. The Untouchables (1987)
  6. Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1979)
  7. The Magnificent Seven (1960)
  8. An Affair to Remember (1957)
  9. The Fugitive (1993)
  10. Sorcerer (1977)
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