'Suspiria' Remake Director Took Out What Everyone Likes About Original

Suzy Bannion (Jessica Harper) in Dario Argento's 1977 horror masterpiece, 'Suspiria.' International Classics

There’s something refreshing in how nakedly Suspiria remake director Luca Guadagnino (I Am Love, A Bigger Splash) declaims everything that’s great about the original in describing his new version of the classic Dario Argento horror movie. Since remakes are typically mid-to-high budget studio affairs, the PR machine is often working overdrive. And part of that inevitable press blitz is convincing the small sliver of moviegoers (and large portion of movie press) who care about the original movie that the remake will be all things: respectful of the original and boldly new, preserving everything that was loved and creating new love. This is, of course, bullshit. So congrats to Guadagnino for short-circuiting that whole messaging mess and just coming out with how unlike his Suspiria will be from 1977’s.

Here’s what Guadagnino had to say about his Suspiria (to Indiewire):

It’s a film about guilt and motherhood. It has no primary colors in its color palette, unlike the original. It will be cold, evil and really dark.

That all sounds well and good. But it sure doesn’t sound like Suspiria. Guilt and motherhood? The only “mother” in Suspiria is Mother Suspiriorum, the Lady of Sighs — an ancient witch who founded the ballet school where girls keep dying for mysterious and confusing reasons. Suspiria may not make a whole lot of sense, Argento is more about dream-logic than sense, but it is very much about primary colors.

This is Suspiria:

suspiria black and white
Bloody 'Suspiria.' Photo: International Classics

And this.

Vibrant 'Suspiria.' Photo: International Classics

And this.

Mysterious 'Suspiria.' Photo: International Classics

It’s hard to imagine what other appeal there is in remaking Suspiria, if not to update its aesthetic madness and design-heavy gruesomeness. What’s the point of a remake again?

As repulsive and stupid as a colorless Suspiria sounds, at least Guadagnino is making his own case for it. There’s no evident slavishness here. Instead we’re getting Tilda Swinton in old age makeup, Chloe Grace-Moretz and Mia Goth at a prestigious European dance academy with a rising body count. It may not be Suspiria as we know it, but who can resist a rising body count?

The Suspiria remake could be out this year or next, no one knows yet. In the meantime, try out Tenebre , Opera or Inferno.

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