Based on the original Suspiria movie from the 1970’s, we see a reborn version of the classic horror.
Set in Berlin back in 1977, the film opens with character Patricia played by Chloë Grace Moretz twirling around a living room requesting to speak with her psychoanalyst Dr. Josef Klemperer who is surprisingly played by Tilda Swinton. Patricia who comes off as worried and scared rambles on about witches trying to get inside her which seems to be a delusional theory to Dr. Klemperer. This is of course until Patricia goes missing a few days later. To discover what happened, Dr. Klemperer goes through Patricia’s belongings to find a notebook with potential clues to lead him in the right direction to answers.
We then meet American girl, Susie Bannion who is played by a red-headed Dakota Johnson. Susie travels to Berlin to enrol into Helena Markos School of Dance to become an inspiring ballet dancer and learn from the best. Susie must audition to some of the teachers and soon captures the attention of Tilda Swinton’s second character, the school master, Madame Blanc. Susie’s dancing skills are shown as impressively special, unique and captures the teacher’s interest.
With already proving her worth, Susie joins the rest of the girls in class to witness a fellow classmate named Olga played by Elena Fokina who has a breakdown and starts accusing the school of Patricia’s disappearance and screams she wants out of the school before fleeing the room. Susie volunteers to takes Olga’s position as the lead role in the upcoming school dance performance and rehearses in front of the girls. The next few moments become one of the most frightening yet mesmerising scenes, one of my favourites in the entire film.
I have recently seen the original 1977 Suspiria and was instantly a fan. For the 2018 remake, I was expecting the film to be the exact same story, but was surprised that while they kept the same characters names (besides Susie’s name being spelt like Suzy in the original) the 2018 version still managed to give the story a whole new twist.
Although Suspiria is long, spanning for two and a half hours, not once did I check the time to see how long was left. I was so focused on every moment that the film didn’t feel long at all.
I can’t get over how incredible Swinton was in this movie. I was so fooled that I didn’t even know she played the old man, Dr. Klemperer and thought it was an actual male actor. She was also perfect for the role of Madame Blanc, there’s something about her that gives you the chills. Watching Swinton work with Johnson was so fascinating to watch. Despite being two actors who I wouldn’t normally picture working well together, they glued so well.
The way Johnson danced in this movie was extremely impressive. The actress trained hard for 6 months before filming to step in the role of Susie and I can’t applaud her enough for her performance as a dancer and as an actor.
The choice in music selections and the unusual scenes made this film beautiful and hypnotising to watch. Although a remake, there was nothing but respect for the original, with Jessica Harper who played the original Suzy even appearing as Dr. Josef Klemperer’s lost wife Anke. Even though the ending left me quite confused, I would still recommend this movie to all fans who can respect the film not just as a horror, but as a piece of art. Suspiria is definitely not for the light-hearted and is beautiful in such a twisted way.