Walking into the theater to see Suspiria I wasn’t quite sure how things would go. Usually horror movies aren’t really my thing, but I figured it was just a movie. “How bad could it be?” I asked myself.
Here’s my verdict: Suspiria is a a movie that most people are probably going to either really love or really hate. If you love horror movies, especially ones with a lot of violence in them, then Suspiria is the movie to see. If you’re like me and get squeamish at the sight of anything even slightly gory, then this is definitely not the movie for you.
In Suspiria we follow Susie Bannion (Dakota Johnson), a dancer from Ohio who hopes to join the world-famous Helena Markos Dance Company. She impresses the company’s lead dancer, Madame Blanc (Tilda Swinton), not only making the group but also becoming the lead dancer in its signature piece, Volk. Meanwhile some of the dancers from the company begin to breakdown one by one, questioning the “Mothers” who run the dance company and accusing them of being witches. But each time one of them begins to speak out, they suffer mental turmoil and horribly gruesome deaths somehow connected to Bannion’s dancing.
If there’s anything I could stress about this movie it’s that once you see Suspiria, you can not unsee Suspiria. The movie is extremely gory, kind of twisted and downright disturbing at times. There were many instances in the movie when I couldn’t even look up at the screen and the movie ends in a bloodbath that will either blow your mind, make you want to run out of the theater, or both.
Even though Suspiria wasn’t really for me, I still think the movie was pretty well done. It was clear that director Luca Guadagnino put a lot of work into his remake of Dario Argento’s 1977 original and, although it was pretty gruesome, it was interesting to see the contrast between the modern-style dancing and someone getting completely destroyed in another room at the same time.
Another thing that I liked about the movie was the music. Thom Yorke wrote a score for Suspiria, and while I wouldn’t have thought to pick the fron man of Radiohead for the job, his music fits the gray, cold and melancholy vibe of the movie well.
At two and a half hours long, it might seem like there isn’t a whole lot of music in Suspiria, but Yorke actually composed 25 songs for the film. There weren’t any happy-sounding songs in this movie. The songs in Suspiria were usually sad and eerie-sounding, a mix between spacey electronic music and intense orchestral pieces. There were also some songs with chilling lyrics, and all of the music worked well to make the important aspects of the film more sad and frightening.
Overall, Suspiria was a very intense movie that is not for the faint of heart. I left the theater that day feeling pretty sick, but if you love horror movies then you’ll probably really enjoy Suspiria. Just know what you’re getting yourself into before you go.
Simone Cazares is a student at Saint Paul College. Originally from Miami, Fla., she survives Minnesota’s cruel winters by immersing herself in the Twin Cities music scene.