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Suspiria

A darkness swirls at the center of a world-renowned dance company, one that will engulf the troupe's artistic director, an ambitious young dancer and a grieving psychotherapist. Some will succumb to the nightmare, others will finally wake up.
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WHAT ARE PEOPLE SAYING?

Asia Cureton Profile picture for Asia Cureton

Guadagnino successfully directed a film that not only pays homage to the original 1977 film directed by David Argento, but moves the film in a fresh, new direction. Though Dakota Johnson is the lead, Tilda Swinton is the real star of this movie. She was perfectly cast for the role as the mysterious and talented Madame Blanc. The Scottish actress’ performance adds a sophistication which makes up for Dakota Johnson’s lackluster performance. Ironically, the horror and deaths were oddly beautiful and brilliantly terrifying. The film is beautifully scored by Radiohead’s Thom Yorke and features impressive and beautiful cinematography. That being said the film does lack character development and the movie’s holocaust subplot feels shoehorned in.

Cait Mohr Profile picture for Cait Mohr

While it does manage to deliver some delicious moments of intrigue and disgust, especially with its plentitude of intricately choreographed dance and torture scenes, Guadagnino’s Suspiria is ultimately bland. Delivered entirely in a sort of self-serious greyscale, this iteration fails most strongly in the sense that it lacks the characteristic giallo camp of the original. This is compounded by the Holocaust subplot, which is pretty ineffectively woven into the original’s main witchcraft narrative. However, I did greatly enjoy the integration of body horror into the main plotline as a marked departure from the original and thought that Guadagnino’s grotesque fascination with bones was a wonderfully visceral addition to the terror. I think it’s worth a watch, but it doesn’t hold a candle to Dario Argento’s.

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WHAT ARE CRITICS SAYING?

35

TheWrap by Alonso Duralde

So what does Guadagnino’s version convey? Boredom, mostly, with confusion and a dollop of disappointment and irritation.
91

IndieWire by David Ehrlich

Guadagnino dredges up the dead with such crazed purpose that his magnum opus is able to dance through its rough spots and make good on its foreboding promise.
70

The Hollywood Reporter by David Rooney

The remake is never uninteresting. But it begets the question of whether the slender thread of story about a coven of witches operating out of a famed Berlin dance academy can withstand all the narrative detail, social context and cumbersome subplots heaped onto it.
100

New York Magazine (Vulture) by Emily Yoshida

Suspiria is a gorgeous, hideous, uncompromising film, and while it seeks to do many things, settling our minds about the brutality of the past and human nature is not one of them.
91

The Playlist by Jessica Kiang

It’s a long, deliriously filmic, primal banshee-howl of macabre imagination that leaves us hormonal and drunk on delusion: the beautiful, thrilling, lurid lie of cinema.
100

Time Out by Joshua Rothkopf

It’s only hours afterward that Guadagnino’s film will cohere for you and yield its buried treasures: the bonds of secret sorority, the strength of a line of dancers moving like a single organism, the present rippling with the muscle memory of the past. It’s so good, it’s scary.
70

Variety by Owen Gleiberman

Suspiria has been made with enough skill to get inside your head, but enough ominous pretension to leave you scratching it.
60

The Guardian by Peter Bradshaw

There are smart moments of fear and subliminal shivers of disquiet, the dance sequences are good and of course Guadagnino could never be anything other than an intelligent film-maker. But this is a weirdly passionless film.
80

Screen International by Tim Grierson

Suffice to say, Suspiria tries to do much, culminating in a finale that’s almost laughably over-the-top. But the passion of Guadagnino’s messy vision — the swirl of emotions he conjures on this grand canvas — has a forcefulness that mostly transcends its sizable flaws.

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