A remake of the 1977 movie by the same name directed by Dario Argento, this new take on the cult horror classic is an unsettling film experience for all the right reasons. The film takes place in Berlin in the late 1970s and focuses on young American dancer Susie Bannion (Johnson) who travels to Berlin to join the Helena Markos Dance Company. After she stuns in her audition, she is taken under the wing of renowned choreographer Madame Blanc (Swinton). The company, however, holds dark secrets with dancers disappearing or suffering very serious consequences for becoming too curious. Susie finds herself the star of the show soon enough, but there are sinister reasons behind the attention she gets.
Guadagnino once again joins forces with director of photography Sayombhu Mukdeeprom who previously worked with him on Call Me By Your Name to create the grey-hued Berlin that can be seen in the film. Inspired by German cinema from that time period, the muted colours and the vivid shots of 1977 Germany all adds to the permeating danger in the film from within the dance company and beyond. The choreography of the film also deviates from the usual ballet trope and instead presents much more visceral sequences that fit the mood of this psychological thriller. Each sequence and each dancer performs with a primal force and crescendo that is both artistically inspired but also leaves the audience with a heart-racing sense of doom.
Suspiria is a thriller unlike many of its contemporaries. With a cast that executes their performances so memorably and a director who manages to catch the essence of the period with his keen eye for details, this film will leave audiences cowering and dazed in all the ways a well-made thriller should.
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