’Suspiria’: How Remakes Fail

Jack Julow, Writer

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There are few times in my life where I have hated watching a movie. Suspiria (2018) offered one of those experiences. Directed by Call Me By Your Name’s Luca Guadagnino, the horror remake has so far received polarizing reviews for understandable reasons and has so far performed poorly at the box office. As I have already stated, I highly disliked the film, and I have regretted spending money to go see it. The second the film ended, I turned to my friends and said, “That movie was complete garbage.” Now, I will explain why you must stay away from this burning trash dumpster and how it fails as a remake.

 

[SPOILERS FOLLOW]

 

The 2018 version of the classic Italian horror film chooses to adapt the worst part of the original: the story. Dario Argento’s Suspiria earned its notoriety for its saturated color palette, atmosphere, and the amazing score by Goblin. While the new version still has an amazing score by Radiohead’s Thom Yorke, its minimalist voidance of color adds to the overly long film’s blandness. Gaudagnino’s remake lasts too long, features too many characters, and lacks too much focus, which creates a convoluted story that overshadows its good themes with distracting misplaced scenes. Guadagnino also hurts the film by adding a twist that has little setup where Dakota Johnson’s Suzie reveals herself as the villain; I rolled my eyes as an unnecessarily gory scene followed.

 

The new edition also featured a historical element with 1977 Berlin with the backdrop of riots and the Red Army Faction terrorizing the streets, and the Holocaust is somehow shoehorned into it. The historical element added nothing to Suspiria and actually distracted from the main plot. Guadagnino makes the film bloated with many other scenes that drag out the runtime. Not all moments of the film are completely terrible, such as the fantastic Olga dance scene; nevertheless, these brief snippets of brilliant filmmaking are not worth enduring the rest of the film.

 

Dakota Johnson is simply miscast. In my opinion, that role should have been offered to an actress that can play both evil and innocent effortlessly. Johnson nails the innocent, precocious Susie, but she lacks the charisma and screen presence to be the evil mastermind witch, Mother Suspirioum. Tilda Swinton plays creepy, yet she adds nothing truly new and special to her filmography. In addition, Swinton plays the old Doctor Klemperer, but there is not much performance under all the makeup. Chloe Grace Moretz bores easily with her one scene, yet this may be due to the underdevelopment of her character and unfocused characterization. However, Mia Goth shines in the film as the dancer Sara. Goth gives a great performance, steals the scenes she is in, and often overshadows Johnson.

 

In all honesty, avoid this movie if you have something better to do. I made an investment with my ticket and lost money. Fortunately, Suspiria will be leaving theaters soon.

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