Suspiria, Dario Argento’s witchy 1977 giallo nightmare is, to put it lightly, an odd duck. It’s flawed, but its flaws are part of what makes it incredible. The dubbed dialogue and histrionic performances might evoke titters from a modern audience, but those same elements add to the disturbing, dreamlike atmosphere. The effects fail 21st century standards of “realism”, but are so artfully, provocatively staged that they leave a mark on the brain in spite of the viewer recognising their fakery. It’s a masterpiece, and its very idiosyncrasies make it so. Those same idiosyncrasies mean it is almost certainly irreplicable.
But here comes acclaimed director Luca Guadagnino (Call Me by Your Name) to give it a red hot go!
So, the plot: “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. Suspiria arrives in [US] theaters November 2. From director Luca Guadagnino. Starring Dakota Johnson, Tilda Swinton, Mia Goth, Jessica Harper and Chloe Grace Moretz.”
The plot is of secondary concern, though; what counts is atmosphere, and it looks like Guadagnino is bringing his A game, crafting a work that aspires to the nightmarish aesthetic of Argento’s original while still retaining its own voice. Thom York ain’t no Goblin, though; it’s going to take a while for us to warm to the music. The presence of original star Jessica Harper is a nice touch, though.