‘Suspiria’ is Psychologically Disturbing in the Best Way

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Published November 13, 2018
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"Suspiria" follows events happening at a ballet school in Germany. Photo courtesy of Amazon Studios

The remake of “Suspiria,” released 40 years after the original film, is certain to divide its fans. I have not been able to get this film out of my mind in the two weeks since I’ve seen it. “Suspiria” is not only one of the best movies to come out this year, but easily one of the best horror remakes I have seen in quite some time.

“Suspiria” follows Susan, a young American woman who travels to Germany to study in a dance academy. While she is there, everyone takes a liking to her, including the director of the program. Meanwhile, there are other students who suspect that the academy might just be a witch coven in disguise, and suspicions start to arise. As the film progresses, the true intentions of the academy are revealed.

Right off the bat, this film is completely different from the 1977 original. The only similarities are the character names and the overarching premise. This is much more a re-imagining of the source material rather than an average remake. Throughout its two-hour and 32-minute run-time, I was invested in its story.

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“Suspiria” premiered on Oct. 26. Photo courtesy of IMDb

As a horror film, it’s not particularly scary, but psychologically the film has an impact. It’s a dark, gritty film that has disturbing imagery. The cinematography and direction help create a feeling of paranoia and being unsettled in the best way possible. There are also some disturbing death scenes, especially one death that may cause some people to walk out in the theater.

On a technical level, this film is an achievement. Some moments in this film are hard to watch, but at the same time the imagery is mesmerizing. The score from Thomas Yorke is also phenomena because it’s memorable and haunting at the same time. He also sings two songs for the film that may get Oscar nominations for Best Original Song.

The dance sequences are also filmed to near perfection. They’re sinister, erotic and beautifully directed. Without spoiling anything, the dance sequences toward the third act make for a terrifying viewing experience. A big part of that is due to the acting performances.

Dakota Johnson gives the best performance of her career. There is a lot of mystery to her character, as she plays the role of someone who is innocent, naive and hopeful. Her character’s journey is jaw-dropping to say the least.

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Believe it or not, this is one of the three characters actress Tilda Swinton plays in “Suspiria.” Photo courtesy of Amazon Studios

However, the standout is Tilda Swinton. She absolutely owns her roles as the director of the school, an old man who is a psychiatrist and Mother Markos. Each hat she wears plays a big role in the film, and she plays them all brilliantly.

“Suspiria” is a slow-burning investigation. While this film is not for everyone, I would recommend it, as the film will get audiences talking. It is different than your average horror film.

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