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Suspiria

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The winner of this year’s Gus Van Sant “Psycho” Award for most purposeless remake goes to fanboy Luca Guadagnino (I Am Love, Call Me By Your Name). Dario Argento’s Suspiria is so much a product of the director’s innermost self that it would be easier to replicate his DNA than to remake this picture. Guadagnino pretty much follows the flow of the original, with the exception of choosing to do away with Argento’s climactic reveal by letting the audience know before the opening credits roll that the school is a front for an assembly of witches. Beneath her red wig, Dakota Johnson’s non-presence is such that one wonders how much better the film might have been had Lindsay Lohan been tapped to star. The Argento is a marvel of style-as-subject; Guadagnino subjects audiences to second-hand shocks. And did I mention that this thing runs an hour longer than the original? With: Mia Goth and Tilda Swinton in no less than three roles. (2018) — Scott Marks

Rated R | 1 hour, 32 minutes
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An EC comic brought to life in living (and dying) color. Dario Argento is still doing some of his best career work for the TV series Masters of Horror, but it was 1977's Suspiria that first brought him to the attention of most U.S. moviegoers.

I saw this new in theaters, and I remember being surprised at how the audience seemed to laugh out loud at the impossibly garish red blood and prankish "horror" setups like the ceiling-dripping maggots mentioned by Mr. Shepherd. I still don't think humor is ever what Argento is going for (other than maybe his work on the original Dawn of the Dead, with its shopping mall zombies), but the cartoonish violence and over-the-top death scenarios were so unlike most American horror movies that 1977 audiences were made uneasy by Suspiria, with laughter being more of a nervous response ---

The bubbling and alternately mumbling/screaming electronic score by Goblin is also part and parcel of what makes Suspiria such a trippy view. That, and Phantom of the Paradise/Shock Treatment star Jessica Harper playing it straight for once, while Dark Shadows ubermom Joan Bennett rounds out her role of madwitch matriarch as if taken straight out of a Dark Shadows parallel time episode.

Not Argento's best movie (that IMO would be Demons), but certainly a good entry level choice for anyone wanting to look into his surreal body of wonky work ---

Aug. 19, 2010

The genius of Argento will forever escape me. His use of color and 'Scope would normally be enough to win me over. It's what he does that I've always had a problem with. When it come to stalking and slaughtering women, no one does it with more style and determination than Dario Argento.

Credit Guadagnino with one thing: no Goblin!

Nov. 2, 2018

And life "karmaed" him with a hypocritical daughter!!! LOL
I recal Shep gave this four or five stars! Well, the 1977 one.

On another note, better be at "Andrei Roublev" this Friday!!! One of my top ten along with "Psycho" which was recently at Arclight! Be there or be square, Mr. Marks!!!

Nov. 4, 2018

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