Jaymie’s review published on Letterboxd:
I was very open and excited for this before the screening after initially thinking “YOU CAN’T REMAKE SUSPIRIA” but after seeing the film, I’m kinda back to my initial thoughts. I’m glad it wasn’t a carbon copy of the original because that just wouldn’t have worked but I’m not sure what a Suspiria remake needed was Luca Gudagnino’s filmmaking.
The first hour or so felt incredibly slow and like Luca was taking himself way too seriously (although those zooms kept it pretty “B”). And then the second half gets so off the rails and over the top that I was laughing throughout the entire climax scene. While all the threads from the slower opening hour or so do come together eventually and make for some interesting thematic ideas to think about once the film is over, I can’t say I found too much of this film entertaining.
The dance scene with the red ropes was by far the best scene in the film and had me feeling tense the entire time. The soundtrack works so well in that scene as well as how it’s shot and choreographed. Really good filmmaking. But then it’s followed by the trashiest, most over the top climax scene. Like what was that digital slow mo??!!?! And the CGI shit coming out of her chest. I wish overall the film didn’t feel so “digital” and I thought the CGI hurt the death scenes. There’s nothing in this like the first death scene in the original SUSPIRIA.
As a whole the film felt kind of sloppily put together? Like just the way the film unfolded? Some of the editing and shot choices early on which I think must’ve been done to feel kind of “off” and unsettling just felt rushed and messy.
The choice to focus on a number of different characters somewhat equally was an interesting choice but I definitely prefer the way the original goes in mostly focusing on Suzy. In fact it felt like the Suzy in this film wasn’t focused on that much at all which I think contributes to the way I feel about the ending and where her character ends up. But in saying that I didn’t really like the way Dakota Johnson played Suzy in the beginning and didn’t really buy her where she ended up. It was probably a good choice to focus on the better actors (Tilda was great and I was impressed with Mia Goth’s performance).
I probably have more thoughts but I’ve written enough. And I only really focused on the negative things. I think there were a few really strong scenes, I liked most of the score (although it’s got nothing on GOBLIN’s from the original), I quite liked the dream sequences and I actually appreciate that Luca did something different and don’t think he did TOO bad a job considering. But I do wish this was just its own film and didn’t have the SUSPIRIA name so I could give it an average review and not look like a hater who was always gonna be disappointed by it.
Oh and what was with Luca saying he was trying to make a film that made him feel like he did the first time he saw the original? He must’ve been feeling something entirely different to everyone else because this had none of the mood / atmosphere of the original (another comparison to the original, I swear I’m not just basing all my thoughts on how I rate it compared to the original, I would’ve found this film average whether it was SUSPIRIA or not).