Remakes are usually contentious and a film as loved as Suspiria is bound to prompt discussion and even derision at someone else’s attempts to cover the same subject matter. With that said, it is no surprise that the release of the teaser trailer yesterday has inspired mixed views. Some have praised the gritty look of the film, while others have mourned the loss of Argento’s lurid colour scheme. While the original film is not lost by being remade and can even attract attention to the original, there’s no doubt it can be frustrating to have to elaborate upon which one you mean in conversation. As someone whose favourite film is The Wicker Man (no, not the Nic Cage one), I understand making this distinction all too well. Suspiria has a great deal to live up to.
Amazon Studios have scheduled the release for November 2nd 2018, so there is plenty of time for further information and visuals to be released.
The teaser features a creepy score by Radiohead’s Thom Yorke and showcases numerous instances of unusual activity (what is she doing to that door frame?). The final shot of an ominous hook rattling on table amongst tea cups hints at the potential brutality. The long shot of Swinton and Johnson staring at each other from opposite ends of a crowded table has really stayed with me and indicates a fascinating interplay between the two.
Despite the teaser offering some really intriguing imagery, there seems to be little of the gruesome scenes which caused a stir at CinemaCon (https://variety.com/2018/film/markets-festivals/suspiria-remake-dakota-johnson-cinemacon-1202789253/). As that footage has not been widely released it is difficult to say whether it is something which appears in the final film, or is another promotional piece.
The remake boasts a promising cast list, with Dakota Johnson, Chloe Grace Moretz and Tilda Swinton taking on roles. Star of the original, Jessica Harper is also listed, indicating a desire for the remake to acknowledge and even feel connected to the original work.
While we currently have limited information to go on, the initial material is intriguing enough that I’m still interested in the project. Perhaps distancing itself from the striking visuals is the first step in the film becoming more than a straight remake and actually making the story its own. Time will tell. In the meantime, I’m planning on revisiting the original via the recent 4K restoration.
Watch the trailer now and see for yourselves:
The original 1977 Suspria is available to stream on Amazon through their MUBI add-on (available on 7-day free trial) if you would like to revist it: Suspiria on MUBI.
All photos and trailer courtesy of Amazon Studios.