Suspiria ★★★★½

I’m left feeling so similar to how I felt after watching the original Suspiria in New York several weeks ago that it’s eerie. I like a lot of what I saw. I think it’s a good film with some incredible sequences (the finale, the dances, an early body horror sequence and its aftermath, and some great “dream” sequences).

It also felt almost wildly unwilling to draw me in. I kept losing the thread or totally unsure of what I should be tracking or feeling in a given scene. This movie certainly has a lot of narrative, I would call it densely plotted, but I don’t know that it totally justifies itself or the run time. The title cards do help with pacing a whole lot and they look dank.

Even though my positive but mixed feelings are similar for both Suspirias, this is probably the better made one. They’re also strikingly different films. Comparisons are fun and will presumably be endless, but this stands on its own.

Dakota Johnson is stunning in this. Much better than anything I’ve seen her in. Boo me if you must, but I think Tilda’s better acted role in this is as the old psychologist who’s investigating the academy. Her other performance as Blanc isn’t bad, but perhaps a little too restrained.

My least favorite parts were some CGI-reliant shots near the end and anytime Thom Yorke was singing. Sorry Thom! The rest of the score is good and the songs are good outside the movie, but they just totally took me out of the film when they played.

I’ll likely keep going around in circles on this film, just like I did when watching it, wondering if that constitutes enjoying it. At the very least, it’s a fitting homage to and elevation of giallo and an argument for giving more arthouse horror this type of budget. I’ve never seen anything quite like this and that was frequently, and sometimes viscerally, exhilirating.

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