“Why is everyone so ready to think the worst is over?”Review by Lewis Goodall
Remakes of old films…. siiiiiigh. I don’t totally understand the need to make them when it already exists and people love it. The only reason I can think is its a money grab because people know the name and the original and want to see it for that reason alone. Usually my trouble with it is that they take the original and ruin it The director doesn’t give two sausages and just makes an easy film cause they know it’ll sell. So Hollywood, next time you want to make a remake of a well loved film, give it to a director that gives three sausages and wants to try and improve on the original, take inspiration from this remake of Suspiria. Did I fool you? Did I make you think I didn’t enjoy this film? Classic misdirection.
Suspiria 2018, directed by Luca Guadagnino, the same director as the incredible ‘Call Me By Your Name’, is a remake of the 1977 classic of the same name (Suspiria if you weren’t paying attention). Susie (Dakota Fanning), an American dancer joins a world famous dance company in the middle of Germany. Dark mysteries start to unravel within the dance company as secrets start to become uncovered.
I really enjoyed the original. I can understand why it’s a cult classic although I did have some problems with it. Probably the main reason I loved it and the only way i will compare the new one to it is in terms of the colour palette. I’m going to review the new one as a separate entity but the original had such an incredible colour palette, filled with really vivid and vibrant colours throughout. One scene in particular in which the main character, Victoria, is travelling in a taxi and the rainbow of colour in the car is stunning and I would say one of the most beautiful shots in cinema history. The colour palette for the new one went for a way way way waaaaaay more dull colour scheme, pretty much draining the scene of colour, apart from the colour red that seemed to be included In every scene. Interesting choice but I felt the colour made the original what it was so I was sceptical when I saw they decided against it. Not saying I didn’t like the emphasis on the red in every scene but a modern take on the vibrant colours would’ve been great. Enough of comparisons, onto the main cake.
Cake time and oh boy is it a mix. I’ll quickly get out the way what I didn’t like because I want to talk about what I like, positive vibes here. So what I didn’t like, I felt as though this film is slightly crowded. As I mentioned before, the main story focuses on Susie who is the new girl In this dance company which is managed by Madame Blanc (Tilda Swindon). It focuses on her engrossing herself within the new found family and displaying her moves. Meanwhile there are a couple of other stories that don’t really develop until the very end and a lot of the time I felt as though these sidebars weren’t really needed. There is one character in particular which I felt really didn’t need to be included at all because they didn’t say anything yet there was a fair amount of time dedicated to them. Unless there was something I was missing, I just felt it didn’t add anything, hence the feeling of the story being a bit overcrowded.
What I love about this film is the way it seriously modernised itself to add shock factor and it absolutely nails the shock factor. I know I said I was going to compare it to the original but I’ve changed my mind, I’m doing it. The original was great but it fell short on the horror factor. New Suspiria hit it up a bunch of notches. After seeing how gentle and soft ‘Call Me By Your Name’ was, I was not expecting this to be as gritty as it was so it made it that much more shocking. Gore galore, all whilst having a wonderful soundtrack made for some seriously cinema. I think the lack of adding a vibrant colour scheme and focusing on the red definitely made the red that bit more intense when it showed itself.
At the beginning I wasn’t too keen on the editing, I have to be honest. A lot of it seemed very jarring but as the film progressed, there were some amazing sequences that were super dark, sort of like a modern version of the video from ‘The Ring’. After Susie had a dream I expected the phone to ring and tell me I had 7 days to live.
Overall I felt like the remake improved upon a lot but also over complicated certain parts of the story which made some of it a bit hard to follow. Not hard to follow but some of it felt quite redundant. In terms of a modernising of a classic horror, this is certainly the way to go about it. Also a quick p.s and major shootout to Tilda Swindon in this because I didn’t realise until afterwards that she played 3 characters, including AN OLD MAN AND I DID NOT EVEN REALISE?!?!? HOW?!?!?