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Movies & TV

01st Nov 2018

The 2018 remake of Suspiria has a scene that will go down in horror history

Rory Cashin

suspiria 2018

This will have everyone talking.

The 2018 remake of Suspiria is very much a horror movie from the director of Call Me By Your Name.

Much like that movie, director Luca Guadagnino brings an incredible sense of time (the 1970s), place (Berlin, with the wall still very much up), and mood.

It is bolstered by two exceptional lead performances, with Dakota Johnson using her lessons of submission, dominance, power, and sexuality from Fifty Shades and putting them to good use here, and a peerless Tilda Swinton, once again pushing her ethereal, other-worldly nature to the max.

The story, based on the visually and atmospherically incredible but ultimately pretty shallow 1977 original by Dario Argento, holds on to the barest minimum of plot points – a dance school is run by witches for nefarious purposes – but adds on more.

A lot more.

Too much more, really.

There are entire plot stretches and background noise revolving around the real-life events involving the Red Army Faction’s kidnapping of Hanns-Martin Schleyer and the hijacking of Lufthansa Flight 181, as well as an elderly doctor looking for a patient as well as his missing wife, that bloat this out to a 152-minute horror film.

So yeah, just like Call Me By Your Name, it is beautiful, poetic, sensual, moody, atmospheric… and too bloody long!

And just like that movie, there are key scenes here that will likely remain in the cinema-goer’s mind for days, weeks, months, and years afterwards, but for entirely different reasons this time.

The scene in question arrives quite early in the movie, with Dakota Johnson’s character arriving at the dance school, and almost immediately volunteering for the lead role in an upcoming production.

Swinton, mildly unconvinced that the new girl has what it takes – especially since the previous lead has just stormed out of the studio in a huff – still gives her a go in the spotlight.

As Johnson begins to dance, all violent stab motions and painful looking angles, the previous lead finds herself trapped in an entirely mirrored room, attacked by some unseen force.

The more Johnson dances, the more the victim is brutalised, with each of Johnson’s movements mirrored in the invisible strikes upon the innocent woman, her body tossed around the room like a rag doll, bones broken, skin snapped, screaming in unison with Johnson’s forceful grunts.

It is a hypnotic nightmare of performance, directing, editing, score (by none other than Radiohead’s Thom Yorke), sound effects, visual effects (the aftermath of the victim’s body is… gruesome), combined into a perfect storm of pure horror.

While it is far from the only memorable horrific scene in the movie, it is the one that most viewers will still be thinking about as they leave the screen, and most likely the one people will still be talking about whenever the movie is brought up for years to come.

Suspiria is released in Irish cinemas on Friday 16 November.

Clips via Amazon Studios

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