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Review Suspiria (2018): Pretentious remake that missed the point completely!

genre: drama, fantasy, horror

It took me a long time to actually watch the remake, but I finally did. I wished I could say I liked it. But I don't. What makes it worse is that quite a lot of people are full of praise. Calling it an artistic masterpiece and more of that BS. These are the same people who didn't like the original and can't see any artistic value in that one. Just the opening scene of the original oozes style, substance and more importantly, dread. The film in itself is easily one of the most creative horror films in existence. And yes, it's a very flawed film. However, what it lacks in certain qualities it redeems itself with kinetic thrills, ambiance and soundtrack. This remake doesn't even come close. I was under the impression that Argento himself was involved with this project. As it turns out, he is not, which is odd, but here is a snippet regarding his thoughts.

Argento himself was decidedly not a fan of the 2018 iteration: in early 2019, the 81-year-old filmmaker went on the record to state, via Radio Rai 1's Un Giorno da Pecora, “… [It] did not excite me, it betrayed the spirit of the original film: There is no fear, there is no music. The film has not satisfied me so much.”

I think even in his criticism, Dario is very nice. I certainly agree with his assessment but want to add that not even for what director Luca Guadagnino was going for, the film fails. It's very clear he wants to put more focus on the history elements and the tragedies that have transpired and using Susie (Dakota Johnson) as a conduit for good instead of the victim she was in the original. While I understand the need to change up the story and perspective, this simply doesn't make any sense. Especially since the pay-off for this is laughable.

There is a lot of distraction and misdirecting going on. In a film like this is to be expected, only not if it detracts from the main plot. Both Swindon and Luca thought it would be cool to have Swindon appear as an old man. The minute I saw this man, I was wondering about him. Then it dawned on me that this man was performed by Tilda. Why? Apparently, for the fun of it. That is all well and good if it actually improves on the film. Not if it completely pulls you away from the main plot. 

Tilda also plays Mother Markos. Again, why? You guessed it, for the fun of it. It's so stupendous, I don't even know what to say about that other than the fact I completely lost interest. I stuck with it since I did want to experience some horror, only to be confronted with some visuals that can be interpreted as shocking or daring but actually did very little to put real fear into you. 

The biggest problem of the remake that it pretends to be intelligent while it's not. In no way does it challenge you. Even the symbolism of the dances are ripped off from Black Swan. Actually, the film goes out of their way to explain to you what is going on. It blatantly tells you what the dance company and even the rituals are about. It's one of the most vital and pivotal elements in the original that never gets explained. At least not until the very end, and even then there isn't a single person who downright explains it to you. The original is quite abstract and leaves more up to the imagination of the viewer. Argento was going for absolute terror and dread, and does accomplish that for the most part. This remake is just boring. Or, as Mrs. P. states, absolute torture. In no way does this film do anything worthwhile. Other than a dance sequence in the finale that again proves that director Luca didn't understand the original.

You are better off watching the original and the other Mother films in the trilogy. So do check the reviews for those.

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