The Most Underrated Horror Remake of The Decade is Now on Prime
Amazon Prime features one of the most extraordinary horror films of the last decade.
- Prime is full of great movies in the horror genre, and one such movie is the 2018 remake of Suspiria.
- Upon its release, the movie received mixed reviews, either condemning or praising it.
- However, five years later, audiences appreciate its style and depth, making it one of the best choices on the streaming service.
The horror niche of cinema has always captivated audiences with its expressiveness, its ability to use an overwhelming sense of dread to provocatively illuminate historical and social pain, generational trauma, and the darkest corners of the human psyche under the constant influence of external stimuli. Such themes are explored in the unfairly underrated 2018 horror Suspiria, a remake—or, more accurately, spiritual successor—to the 1977 original of the same name, a cult classic by Dario Argento.
Luca Guadagnino, known for his subtle and deeply psychological dramas like A Bigger Splash and Call Me by Your Name, has reimagined the surrealism of the original to deliver one of the most unsettling yet contemplative horrors. Upon its release, the new iteration of Suspiria has elicited incredibly contrasting sentiments, from outright dislike and condemnation to outright praise. Such is the fate of any horror film that comes to be seen as an underrated masterpiece worthy of the title of cinematic classic. And now, 5 years after its release, Suspiria may be a great option to watch, especially since it is now available on Prime Video.
Remake of the Cult Horror Film
Luca Guadagnino had the idea of making a remake in the late '00s after acquiring the rights to the script from the original writers, Dario Argento and Daria Nicolodi, but considered his project an 'homage' designed to complement the original rather than remake it. Nevertheless, the result is both a great addition to the iconic film and a more political, raucous interpretation, as Guadagnino, along with screenwriter David Kajganich, delivers an eerie parable about motherhood, power and its levers, political blindness, and the silencing of reality that leads to resentment and vengeance.
As a result, Guadagnino was able to assemble one of the most talented casts and crews: the film features reflective cinematography by Sayombhu Mukdeeprom, who worked on CMBYN and created a cinematic aesthetic in stark contrast to Argento's style; the score was composed by Radiohead leader Thom Yorke, who was inspired by the underground music of Germany in the '70s; the cold and mystical talent is provided by Tilda Swinton, Dakota Johnson, Mia Goth, Chloë Grace Moretz, and others.
The plot is similar to the original and follows Johnson's Suzy, a young American girl who moves to West Berlin to attend a prestigious dance school. She discovers that the school is actually a front for a coven of witches who channel their powers through dance and physicality and use them to harm their victims. As events unfold, Suzy not only becomes embedded in a surrealistic entourage, but also reveals her shadow self and all of her repressed desires.
Why It Is Worth Watching
Although the plot is roughly the same as the original, much emphasis is placed on the events in Germany in 1977, when politicians associated with the Nazi Reich were kidnapped, terror and protests took place, and leftist youth felt resentment and anger toward older generations who denied the horrors of World War II. Parallel to this is the narrative of how the women's community becomes both a refuge from and a mirror of the terrible external turmoil, being in fact a corrupt authoritarian circle of people who abuse power and authority.
Like the original, the film received sharply polarized reviews upon release, much of it directed at the inconsistent narrative and overwhelming pacing full of gore. Years later, however, this is exactly what has been praised, as the plot, performances, visuals, and music send the film into a frenetic, aggressive dance in which the body becomes a relay for unbridled emotion.