Jan 182019
 

Suspiria is one interesting film that does take aspects of Dario Argento’s 1977 original and adds a little bit of a spin of it, including an absolutely bananas finale which in some respects was actually better, or at the very least more memorable.

 

 

Suspiria
(2018)

Genre(s): Horror, Thriller, Fantasy
Lionsgate | R – 152 min. – $24.99 | January 29, 2019

Date Published: 01/18/2019 | Author: The Movieman


MOVIE INFO:
Directed by: Luca Guadagnino
Writer(s): Dario Argento & Daria Nicolodi (Original 1977 Screenplay); David Kajganich (screenplay)
Cast: Dakota Johnson, Tilda Swinton, Mia Goth, Chloe Grace Moretz, Angela Winkler, Jessica Harper
DISC INFO:
Features: Featurettes
Slip Cover: Yes
Digital Copy: Yes
Formats Included: Blu-ray
Number of Discs: 1
Audio: English (Dolby Atmos), English (Dolby Digital 5.1)
Video: 1080p/Widescreen 1.85
Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish
Disc Size: 35.37 GB
Total Bitrate: 28.44 Mbps
Codecs: MPEG-4 AVC
Region(s): A

Lionsgate provided me with a free copy of the Blu-ray I reviewed in this Blog Post.
The opinions I share are my own.

Note: This review contains some MAJOR SPOILERS, so readers beware.


THE MOVIE — 3.5/5


This 2018 version of Suspiria, taking place in 1969 Germany, follows a young American woman, Susie Bannion (DAKOTA JOHNSON), who has enrolled into the prestigious Helena Markos Dance Co., run by the illustrious and brilliant instructor Madame Blanc (TILDA SWINTON). However, something is afoot at this dance studio. Another young woman, Patricia (CHLOE GRACE MORETZ), whom Susie had replaced, had gone missing though not before she expressed to her psychiatrist Dr. Josef Klemperer (“LUTZ EBERSDORF”) accusing the instructors of the company of being witches. The doctor wrote this off as merely delusions, but when she went missing, decided to investigate for himself.

Meanwhile, within the company, Susie is quickly rising amongst the ranks and is taken notice by Madame Blanc. She seems to be a natural, though as she makes gains, other girls undergo disturbing supernatural attacks, one particularly gruesome scene, her body contorting but not killing her. Soon enough, we learn that perhaps Patricia’s accusations of witchcraft at the company may not be far-fetched, being introduced to a coven of women preparing for some ritual where time is of the essence and Susie is at the center of it all.

The 1977 horror Suspiria was good though nothing I’d say was wowed by, at least in terms of story; very much an incredible style over substance. Now 41 years later, the film undergoes a remake that is nearly an hour longer than the original, thus expanding on the story. However, writing this review hours following my initial viewing, I’m still not quite sure what to think.

While the movie is a rather lengthy, at 148-minutes (without credits), I will say it never felt long as, despite pretty much knowing the basic plot having watched the original only last year, I found it rather engrossing and by god does the climax, which does differ, was absolutely bonkers and seemed to be a cross of Dario Argento and Stanley Kubrick, in all of the best ways. That being said, what came before, and as much as I appreciate getting more of a background for Susie with her childhood, this did not translate into me giving much of a damn for her, and I can’t exactly say that was the fault of Dakota Johnson or Susie is just not all that interesting of a character to begin with, no matter who played the part.

The supporting cast did well. Tilda Swinton does manage to balance creepy yet caring not to mention her other role as Klemperer, though that was such an odd choice. Perhaps I’m missing the symbolism or something, but it was actually rather distracting knowing beforehand Swinton was covered in old man make-up which presumably took 2-3 hours to apply. Why? Hell if I know but I was fully expecting some sort of reasoning behind it (maybe Blanc and Klemperer were related or something).

Chloe Grace Moretz does appear in the film for a few minutes, mostly the opening scene visiting her psychiatrist, Klemperer and leaving her possessions behind, including a journal outlying her suspicions or evidence the dancing company are full of witches, and on this front, I do prefer how the Patricia character was handled versus the original, perhaps having someone of Moretz weight helped.

Suspiria was helmed by Luca Guadagnino, who previously directed Call Me by Your Name, and while he doesn’t have the amazing style of Dario Argento’s original (and should be noted, Argento did get an Associate Producer’s credit, i.e. was some sort of consultant), but there are some visually interesting shots, particularly the finale.

 

SPECIAL FEATURES – 1.75/5


This release comes with a semi-glossy slip cover and inside is a redemption code for the Digital HD copy. Features are on the thin side, totaling only about 12.5 minutes.

The Making of Suspiria (3:56; HD) – This short featurette has behind-the-scenes footage and some on-set interviews with the director and members of the cast including Dakota Johnson.

The Secret Language of Dance (4:13; HD) looks at the dance choreography featured in the film.

The Transformations of Suspiria (4:27; HD) is on the prosthetics work on the project.

PreviewsYou Were Never Really Here, Beautiful Boy, Cold War

 


VIDEO – 4.25/5


Suspiria does a ritualistic dance onto Blu-ray where it is presented in its original 1.85 widescreen aspect ratio and is given a solid 1080p high-definition transfer. Detail on this unsurprisingly is sharp as any modern mid-major budgeted film should be and while it doesn’t exactly have the same sort of pop compared with the 1977 original, this did feature some great visuals that translated so well onto Blu-ray, most notably a blood-drenched sequence.

AUDIO – 4.5/5


In a nice surprise, this disc comes with a robust, if not also overly powerful, Dolby Atmos track. Although it is a bit on the overkill side for 90%+ of the film which is primarily dialogue, thus the bulk of the audio coming via the center channel. However, there is some good depth to behold like a downpour of rain or the creepy chants during a ritual. I won’t go as far to say this Atmos track is anything amazing, but certainly still remarkable.

 


OVERALL – 3.5/5


Suspiria is one interesting film that does take aspects of Dario Argento’s 1977 original and adds a little bit of a spin of it, including an absolutely bananas finale which in some respects was actually better, or at the very least more memorable (should be noted, I felt Argento’s version was quintessential style over substance). This Blu-ray release has good transfers but the features are lacking, not surprising given the film’s anemic box office.

 

 

 

Check out some more 1080p screen caps by going to page 2. Please note, these do contain spoilers.

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