Bringing you honest reviews of recent releases
Dakota Johnson – Susie Bannion
Tilda Swinton – Madame Blanc / Mother Helena Markos / Dr. Josef
Mia Goth – Sara Simms
Angela Winkler – Miss Tanner
Ingrid Caven – Miss Vendegast
Fabrizia Sacchi – Pavla
Sylvie Testud – Miss Griffith
Renée Soutendijk – Miss Huller
Suspiria is one hell of a strange film. But at the same time it is artistic in both style and direction, as well as the story itself which focuses on a group of dancers. And putting Swinton at the helm was a bloody genius idea of director Luca Guadagnino. There could be no other actress to play a role of such delicately strange demeanour; pale face shrouded by long billowing hair. A slim, almost bony body. And a voice so soft you’d think the woman was employed to put babies to sleep when not acting. Added to this is how Swinton gracefully glides across the set as she portrays Madame Blanc, it fits the actress perfectly. Especially when things take a sinister turn..
This isn’t a film for those who crave instant horror and frequent frights. It’s for those who like to get lost in a strange world and have something different to think about for an hour or so. One of those films enjoyed by fluffy scarf-wearing bohemian style twenty-somethings who have more body piercings than toes (going by a few of the audience members). Suspiria is in a league of its own and at points very scary – in a more psychological sense. One or two moments are nightmarish with bizarre visions comparable to The Ring (2002). Those who have seen this old movie may remember the scenes where a video tape plays very short clips of unsettling images; that sort of thing. It really is dark but manages to keep the balance between this and a high level of drama, Johnson being the main focus of its story.
People who have been involved in dance (studied the subject, performed in live shows / street theatre, etc.) will no doubt lap up the feast of agile body movement, grease paint and nudey costumes towards the end of Suspiria. The sound and sight of soft feet slapping cold hard floor along with professionally choreographed dancing ensures an electric atmosphere which many thespians and dancers can probably relate to. This intertwines with the twisted story in a way which offers viewers hobby and horror at the same time. And speaking of being twisted..
One of the most intriguing scenes in this movie is when a dancer is tortured by having her limbs snapped and disjointed. This lasts for a good few minutes, the sound of cracking and crunching body parts echoing loudly. Suspiria really turns into a horror movie when a student flees a class, and tries to escape the school itself. The young woman ends up in an empty mirrored studio where the most excruciatingly painful things happen to her – without anyone else but her being in the room. What takes place is harrowing. But who or what is doing it?
Like fuck am I telling – watch it.
I have to say, Johnson does brilliantly in this movie; the artistic flair seems to be her forte with the actress getting stuck into some decent dance routines and incorporating dramatics with it. Her petite and flexible figure fit perfectly on screen, and you can see she’s had some training in the past. The producers must’ve had fun garnishing her with the revealing costume she wears during the end scene too (Fifty Shades just became Fifty Shapes). Great work from Johnson.
Viewers who don’t necessarily hate dance but don’t really care for it will probably be bored shitless during Suspiria. This movie will simply be another passing ‘weird one’. Get ready for a lot of quiet scenes;
Camera zooms out over a big dance studio. A handful of girls sat cross-legged on a cold floor being guided by their strict teacher. Johnson’s character jumping in the air and landing softly on her feet, repeatedly.
The art of conveying emotion through dance. Choreography. Music being cut so that the teacher can intervene and show the girls how to ‘do it properly’.
One could be forgiven for thinking they were watching a documentary, most of this movie is like someone stuck a video camera in the corner of Pineapple Dance Studios and left it recording.
So there are highs and lows to Suspiria, but one thing is certain – it’s bloody unique and performed superbly. You’ll either love it or find it tedious, it’s one of those.