Judging by the trailer and imagery, Suspiria looks to be one of the scariest and most disturbing horror movies of the last several years. While most fans will have to wait until November to find out if that is indeed the case, several critics recently saw Suspiria at the Venice Film Festival, and like horror movies often do, the film has received mixed reviews. Horror fans aren’t usually all that concerned with what mainstream critics have to say, but what has some fans troubled with the recent reviews of Suspiria is that even the critics who liked the film didn’t find it all that scary.
When news first broke that Dario Argento’s 1977 masterpiece was going to be remade, fans were skeptical. However, when director Luca Guadagnino described his Suspiria as a reimagined story, insisting that it wasn’t a remake, most fans exhaled a sigh of relief. The brilliant marketing behind the 2018 horror film has found fandom on social media, and fans are on the edge of their seats to watch the film starring Dakota Johnson, Tilda Swinton, Mia Goth, and Chloe Grace Moretz.
Dakota Johnson plays Susie Bannion, an ambitious young dancer who is accepted into a world-renowned dance academy in 1977 Germany. Unfortunately, the academy is run by a coven of witches, and Susie, a psychotherapist, and the artistic director are engulfed by evil. Some will submit to the darkness, and others will finally wake up.
Warning: The trailer below contains some disturbing imagery.
Based on the disturbing trailer alone, Suspiria certainly looks scary, though many critics disagree with that sentiment. While he complimented Suspiria’s aesthetics, David Rooney of The Hollywood Reporter ultimately gave the film a negative review, calling it drawn-out at 152 minutes long, and “borderline inert.”
Stephanie Zacharek of Time Magazine praised the original Suspiria, but called the reimagined film “bland, grisly, boring and silly.” Zacharek put that this is not the fault of the actors, but that Guadagnino thought too much and felt too little.
Others who liked the film described it as high-class horror-porn, but even those who praised the horror movie said that it wasn’t scary. Deadline reported that Suspiria received an eight-minute standing ovation at the Venice Film Festival, but that was largely due to the artistic cinematography. Joshua Rothkopf of Time Out gave it 5 Stars and described why traditional horror fans won’t like it.
“Traditional horror fans won’t be pleased: Almost transgressively, Guadagnino has deprioritized the shocks, even the fear. But in their place, he’s pumped up the exoticism and crafted a movie you can get lost in, which is the ultimate tribute.”
Overall, it seems the majority of critics love the artistry of the horror movie but feel that it lacks the fear factor and shock value of Dario Argento’s critically acclaimed film. Fans can decide for themselves on November 2, when Suspiria hits theaters nationwide.