Suspiria ★★★★

"Suspiria" (2018) - [8/10] - Day 198 of #Movies365

I have always abided by the film criticism tenet that it's far less important that I understand what is happening in a movie than it is that I understand the filmmakers know what is happening in a movie. If you give me reason to trust you, I'll happily just go along for the ride with whatever you throw my way.

All that being said, I couldn't *begin* to tell you what "Suspiria" is about or even describe its main plot mechanics, aside from its broad strokes. Now, part of this is due to me seeing it under less than ideal circumstances (late screening, very long, school night, you get it). Even still, this is a deeply weird, unabashedly obtuse movie. And I really liked it!

Luca Guadagnino is quickly becoming one of my favorite filmmakers. His "Call Me By Your Name" is a masterpiece, and "A Bigger Splash" - which I watched and wrote about on here a few months ago - is also excellent. "Suspiria" may be the most visually arresting of all three, which is saying a great deal. Its imagery is equal parts beautiful and horrifying, sacred and profane. There is a perpetual sense of unease permeating every frame, to the degree that throughout last night, I hardly slept. It's not a scary movie, per se, but it is an immensely unnerving one, and it lingers with you long after you live the theater.

I should note, for fans of the original film, this "Suspiria" is a remake almost in name only. Some elements remain - there's a dance school, there are witches - but that's just about it. Honestly, it reminded me much more of "The Shining" than it did of the original "Suspiria." The Kubrickian framing, the nightmare logic, the fear of the unexplained, it's all there. A not insignificant part of me wonders if general audiences are going to accept this new vision of "Suspiria." But if "The Shining" can become a horror classic, I guess there's hope yet.