A friend of Balans Soho Society was so scared by just the thought of the original Dario Argento version of Suspiria that not only did she refuse to ever watch it, she insisted her husband keep the dvd in the freezer lest somehow the evil leaked out. There cannot be many people who’ve seen it who, on some level, can’t relate to that.
There’s no doubt that Luca Guadagnino’s ‘re-imagining’ of Suspiria is sincerely meant, beautifully shot and painstakingly constructed, but whereas the original was brash, colour-soaked and entirely visceral, this is much more cerebral in its approach, decidedly less passionate and evocative. It’s arthouse rather than scary house. Although there are disquieting, disorientating moments it all remains curiously muted, almost completely without the dread that pulsated through Argento’s rather more economic version. The shocks and the gore are in place, but it’s hard to imagine anyone being truly unnerved by it let alone being scared enough to hide a copy of it under a pack of fish fingers.