One thing is certain about Dario Argento’s Suspiria (1977): it is widely considered the best Italian horror film ever.
In the heydays of Italian surreal horror, Suspiria struck viewers with its unique, hyper-intense mood and a colour scheme that makes it the most colourful horror film to date. Dario Argento’s masterpiece has it all: impressive from a technical standpoint, gory to the extreme (in its time), filled with eye-candy, scary and beautiful at the same time.
How does anybody dare to remake it?
Although I’m myself not too fond of remakes – indeed, quite the opposite – Luca Guadagnino (Call Me by Your Name, 2017) is one hell of a director and, more importantly, he seems to have the right approach to the project:
“Every movie I make is a step inside my teenage dreams, and Suspiria is the most remarkably precise teenage megalomaniac dream I could have had. I saw the poster when I was 11 and then I saw the film when I was 14, and it hit me hard. I immediately started to dream about making my own version of it. So in a way it makes me smile when I hear people say, “How dare you remake Suspiria. Typical commerce-driven mentality.” I was just a boy who had seen a movie that made him what he became. So that’s how I am approaching it: a homage to the incredible, powerful emotion I felt when I saw it.”
In particular, the Italian up-and-coming director claimed his will to go a different route in comparison to the original masterpiece.
Whereas Suspiria played with colours and over-the-top sequences, Guadagnino’s remake promises to rely on a much darker, sombre tone; the grandiose cinematography of the 1977 horror classic will be replaced by a more pallid and minimalistic atmosphere.
Am I implying that the remake might be better than the original? Absolutely not. I just think that this remake is the consequence of a passionate and non-exploitative project. People behind it know that it’s unlikely they’ll be able to make a superior movie in comparison to the original, thus they took a respectful and different route.
The mostly all-female cast is also strong – I’d say it’s even stronger than the cast in the 1977 movie – and makes me hope for great performances, since the director had proven himself to be great at getting the A-game from the actors he worked with.
Obviously, a few aspects about the remake won’t be able to match those of the original. For example, the score.
In Suspiria (1977), the score by Goblin was outstanding and worked perfectly in combination with acting and cinematography. In regards to the remake, the composers haven’t been unveiled yet, which makes me think the filmmakers are struggling to find someone who’s suitable for the tone of the movie.
All in all, I’m pretty positive about the 2018 remake of Suspiria and the main reason is that we are probably going to get the same storyline of the original told in a very different way, which is something extremely interesting, in my opinion.
Ultimately, I’m usually very sceptical about remakes, but here I see Guadagnino’s movie as a re-imagination/homage to a movie that changed the history of horror cinema. And I’m totally cool with that!
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