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Suspiria (2018)



A darkness swirls at the center of a world-renowned dance company, one that will engulf the artistic director, an ambitious young dancer, and a grieving psychotherapist. Some will succumb to the nightmare. Others will finally wake up.

Review

Based on / The re-imagining / The remake of Dario Argento's Giallo classic Suspiria, director Luca Guadagnino (The Protagonists) brings something particularly strange to the screen in the 2018 Amazon Original, Suspiria. Both beautifully realized and shot, Guadagnino does a stunning job behind the camera. The acting is outstanding, starring Dakota Johnson (Fifty Shades Trilogy), Tilda Swinton (Doctor Strange), and Mia Goth (A Cure For Wellness).

But I don't know what the film is. Is it a thriller? I suppose. Horror? In places, yes, but not for large swathes of the two and half hour run time. Drama? The backdrop of the fall of the Berlin wall adds a dramatic plate, but no, not really. A dance movie? *shrugs*

It is, for lack of somewhere else to pigeon hole it, the most expensive arthouse film I've ever seen. Broken, bizarrely, into chapters, the first act (just to be as confusing as the film) is solid stuff. A dance school, perhaps witches, a newcomer. Good so far. The second act drags a little, but starts to border weird, and then the narrative plunges in the third act to a weird and almost nonsensical conclusion.

Is it good? Yes. The run time pretty much flies by. There are standouts to be found. The direction is mesmerizing, as is Tilda Swinton's performance (playing three characters). There is a scene of horror near the start of the film which is terrifyingly well done.

Weird, bordering bonkers, but mesmerizing at the same time. Expect to enjoy it, if not fully understand it.


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