The Morning After: Nov. 24, 2018

Welcome to The Morning After, where I share with you what movies I’ve seen over the past week. Below, you will find short reviews of those movies along with a star rating. Full length reviews may come at a later date.

So, here is what I watched this past week:

Suspiria


In horror history, there are a handful of films that can lay claim to being massively influential and a handful that elevated the medium to the level of art. Dario Argento’s 1977 masterpiece Suspiria was one of the latter. Going into the 2018 version of the film of the same name is fraught with peril. Can it compare? Should it compare? Knowing the intention behind the director’s vision is as important to that assessment as is knowing the original.

Luca Guadagnino’s vision for the film was not to remake, but reimagine it for a different audience. While the sequel is still set in an all-girls dance studio with a mysterious faculty, the visual similarities between the two films are diametrically opposed. Whereas Argento’s film is awash in bright, vivid colors, especially reds, Guadagnino’s version avoids primary colors, instead focusing on the drear whites, grays, and blacks of a bleak German winter. While Argento’s film focused almost entirely on the young girl (Jessica Harper) at the center of the story, Gudagnino’s project expands beyond the girl’s (Dakota Johnson) adventures. Both films feature unique and compelling musical scores with hints of the original Goblin score infusing composer Thom Yorke’s rendition.

Suspiria is just as haunting in its new incarnation as it was in the original and both films can exist independently of one another. The new version wants to be a bit headier in its narrative development, tackling motherhood, self-recrimination, and a number of other minor themes. It also expands the exploration of character to other characters, giving meaty roles to a number of prominent actresses, all of whom are an international bevy of talents. Johnson’s character, Susie Bannion, doesn’t have a lot of emotional growth. She reacts to everything going on around her with a sort of emotional detachment. Her visceral reactions are instead foisted on the young women around her, including a superb Mia Goth as her best friend at the school. Tilda Swinton delivers another characteristically brilliant performance as both the imperious teacher at the center of Susie’s growth as well as the father figure Dr. Klemperer, the psychologist trying to get to the bottom of the activities within the school.

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