Friday, June 26, 2020

Suspiria (2018)

Streaming Services: Amazon Prime Video
Movie Name/Year: Suspiria (2018)
Genre:  Fantasy, Horror, Mystery
Length:  152 minutes
Rating: R
Production/Distribution: Frenesy Film Company, Videa, First Sun, MeMo Films, Mythology Entertainment, Amazon Studios, K Period Media, FilmNation Entertainment, Anticipate Pictures, BF Distribution,, CGV Mars Dagitim, Capelight Pictures, Cinemania Group, Cinetel, Cinéart, Diamond Films, Elevation Pictures, Filmarti, Filmware International, Finnkino, GAGA, Gussi Films, Kino Swiat, Koch Films, Lark Films Distribution, Lev Cinemas, M Pictures, Metropolitan Filmexport, NOS Audiovisuais, Norsk Filmdistribusjon, OctoArts Films, PlayArte Filmes, Polyfilm Verleih, Seven Films, Transmission Films, Volga Film Ukraine, Volga, Lionsgate Home Entertainment, MUBI, Universal Sony Pictures Home Entertainment Nordic
Director: Luca Guadagnino
Writers: David Kajganich, Dario Argento, Daria Nicolodi
Actors: Tilda Swinton, Dakota Johnson, Chloë Grace Moretz, Sylvie Testud, Mia Goth, Jessica Harper, Angela Winkler, Lutz Ebersdorf, Ingrid Caven, Alek Wek, Elena Fokina, Malgorzata Bela, Doris Hick, Jessica Batut, Vanda Capriolo, Clementine Houdart, Fabrixia Saccht, Christine Leboutte, Renée Soutendijk, Vincenza Modica, Sara Sguotti, Iaia Ferri, Gala Moody, Olivia Ancona, Anne-Lise Brevers, Halla Thordardottir, Stephanie McMann, Majn Van der Schot, Maria Bregianni, Josepha Madoki

Blurb from IMDb: 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.

Cat’s Point of View:

I am fairly sure that the first thing that will come to mind whenever, or if ever, anyone mentions Suspiria to me in the future is that it was seriously bizarre.
I am quite a fan of dance in many forms. Shows such as So You Think You Can Dance (2005-), World of Dance (2017-), and Dancing With the Stars (2005-) are among my favorites. I’ve seen and adore all the Step Up (2006) movies. I even enjoy the more serious classics like White Nights (1985) and Black Swan (2010). I even took a little bit of ballet when I was very young. I could go on.
I have little aptitude for dance, myself, but I enjoy it very much. As a result, I do like a good movie with a heavy theme of dancing in the plot. When you pair that sort of story with a horror intent, you really have my interest piqued.

Suspiria is actually the remake of a 1977 film which is considered by many to be a classic of the genre. That version of the film has quite a bit of color contrast and uses ballet as its dance form. This new version of the film is focused on modern interpretive dance set against a backdrop of rather bleak colors and a snowy landscape. That’s not where the differences stop, from what I gather.
I haven’t watched the original, unfortunately, so I am unable to note differences beyond what is mentioned on IMDb’s trivia and the like. Apparently, there are some pretty big ones, so you’re watching this as a fan of the original – keep that in mind with a grain of salt.

I’m a little confused, however, why this is listed as a mystery. I found the arc of events in the film rather telling, and it was clear rather early on what exactly was transpiring. In fact, I thought the movie was fairly brazenly upfront about it all. The only part of the film that was a shocking reveal in any remote sense was the fact that the film actually came to an end. I felt every minute of the two and a half hours of this film. While I was generally invested enough in the plight of the characters, it didn’t have me guessing and engrossed enough for the off-putting strangeness to feel like anything other than listening to runners huffing and puffing through a marathon.
The production team should get kudos for casting, however. The dance company was believable as a unit, the ‘old biddies’ running the company truly fit their roles in manner and aesthetics, and then you have the brilliant Tilda Swinton (War Machine, The Dead Don't Die, Uncut Gems), whose roles are almost synonymous with ‘strange.’ She was perfect for Madame Blanc. Further, I was impressed that Dakota Johnson (Bad Times at the El Royale, Wounds, The Friend) took two years of ballet in preparation for this role. I could really tell in her quality of movement that she had invested well into the part.

While I’d figured out the general idea of what was going on, I wasn’t quite prepared for the movie’s climax. It was a bit jarring and disjointed from the rest of the film, as well as highly disturbing.
I am fairly certain that I do not desire to watch this movie again. I am, however, quite curious about the original now and may watch that just to see how the two films compare and contrast. It’s not likely to be among my recommendations to anyone looking for a good horror movie.

Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score – 66%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score – 66%
Metascore – 64/100
Metacritic User Score – 7.1/10
IMDB Score – 6.8/10
CinemaScore – None

Trust the Dice: Cat’s Rating – 2.5/5

P.S. – There’s a very short scene after the credits.

Movie Trailer:

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