Suspiria ★★★★½

BFI London film festival - Day 6
Embankment garden cinema

When news broke that Luca Guadagnino hot off the success of his 2017 LGBT smash hit romance “Call Me By Your Name” was in line to direct a remake of Dario Argento’s 1977 neon soaked giallo masterpiece a lot of people had reservations, as did I. The runtime going from 90 to over 120 is a big step up however when I learnt that this wasn’t going to be a straight up remake rather a “reimagining” my doubts were cooled quite significantly. Guadagnino is showing with each passing film his understanding for the human brain, the parts that make us obsess over one another most specifically. In CMBYN and this film there are similar themes. Older individual showing the younger individual how to live, so to speak. However that is where the similarities end. Luca’s reimagining is everything you could want from a Suspiria remake in 2018; queer, loud, clean, violent and most of all engaging. There are full sequences here that make you forget to breathe, you get sucked into 1970’s Germany from your seat and it doesn’t ever feel like you recover.

Tilda Swinton and Dakota Johnson are outstanding, the former especially. The chemistry between the two is electric at every turn and a lot of the time you can cut the tension (and sometimes sexual tension) with a knife. Luca succeeds off the back of a fantastically written script, allowing Tilda to really delve into her characters psyche and show us how good she really is in what I would describe as a career best performance. 

People are going to hate this, just like they hated Darren Aronofsky’s “Mother!”. It’s experimental, it’s brash and it’s got serious attitude. I can’t wait to see it again.

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