A still from the Suspiria remake
Despite its star-studded cast and phenomenal soundtrack and plot, "Suspiria" has failed to receive the praise it deserves among horror fans. (Image via Google Images)

The ‘Suspiria’ Remake Deserves as Much Hype as ‘Midsommar’ and ‘Hereditary’

Although the supernatural horror film possesses many similarities to beloved classics within the genre, it has somehow failed to receive parallel recognition.

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A still from the Suspiria remake

Although the supernatural horror film possesses many similarities to beloved classics within the genre, it has somehow failed to receive parallel recognition.

While movies like “Midsommar” and “Hereditary” deserve their hype and success, it’s a shame that other movies in the same genre have been sidelined. Although “Suspiria” wasn’t directed by Ari Aster, this film falls into a similar category and I’m surprised it isn’t more well known. There are many reasons why this could be, but nonetheless “Suspiria” is a film that should be recognized alongside these behemoths within the genre.

Suspiria” is a horror-thriller film about a dancer, Susie Bannion, who travels from America to Berlin to study at a well-known dance company. Soon after her arrival, it is revealed that one of the former students has died mysteriously. Susie suspects the company knows more than they let on and has decided to solve the secrets that are scattered before her. Sounds interesting enough, right? So why has this film been ignored for so long?

One main reason “Suspiria” is so underground is that the marketing wasn’t as mainstream. This is most likely due to the fact that “Suspiria” was an Amazon Studios production. Amazon Studios was newer to audiences and many weren’t familiar with the platform. Since it is a less well-known studio, theaters weren’t willing to take the chance of playing it and possibly losing money.

According to Dead Entertainment, a limited release occurred around Halloween in 2018, which should have been the actual release because the holiday would have attracted a larger audience, even if it was just released on the streaming site. They also explain, “In total, the ‘wide’ U.S. release of the film was only 311 screens.” Perhaps if they had advertised in a more expansive way, like A24 studios, more venues would have been willing to provide support.

Another reason behind why many believed the film stayed on the down-low is due to it being a remake of the 1977 “Suspiria” (directed by Dario Argento), a film considered a cult classic within the horror world. I myself am a huge fan of the original but unlike others, I was also ecstatic to see another rendition of it. I was even more excited about it after hearing about everyone who would be involved. However, not everyone felt this same excitement. Countless fans had mixed feelings about how the remake would hold up to the original, adopting the “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” mentality, which in turn caused many to not even bother to see it.

While I suppose those are valid reasons why the “Suspiria” remake didn’t do as well as it should have, here is why this film deserves all the hype and more. It was a dream production. It’s like when the line in the drive-thru isn’t long and the person in front of you paid for your order. It’s like when you show up to class and the TV is out and there’s a substitute teacher. There’s nothing like the rush of euphoria, knowing it’s going to be the best day. That’s how it felt when I found out who constituted the cast and crew of “Suspiria.”

For starters, its director is Luca Guadagnino. If you aren’t familiar with his work, he has done films such as “Call Me by Your Name” and “I Am Love.” He’s best known for his emotional and intimate film style. I was eager to see how these characteristics would play into a horror film.

In addition to having such a talented director, the cast is full of incredible actors like Chloë Grace Moretz, Dakota Johnson and Tilda Swinton. I mean, who wouldn’t enjoy an almost all-female cast? Especially one that involves Swinton. I mean, I have loved Swinton for forever and I think the reason I love her so much is because of the way she terrifies me. She’s like that scary, mean popular girl in school, but for some reason you still want her to like you. Not only are they all in this film, but they each put on a phenomenal performance. Many were specifically impressed with Johnson and her outstanding job in the role of Susie. While she is known best for her role as Anastasia in “Fifty Shades of Grey,” many found this role much more refreshing.

The cherry on top of people who are a part of this project was Radiohead’s Thom Yorke. He worked on the film’s soundtrack and because of this alone, a lot more people were interested in seeing it. Not only is Radiohead a well-loved band but their songs have been featured in many other film soundtracks as well. This proved to film lovers that no amateur was in charge of composing the music, which was perfectly suited to the film’s theme.

This was an important factor to many fans because a big aspect of the original “Suspiria” was the music, which was done by the band Goblin. Because of their work on the soundtrack, Goblin ended up receiving so much love and praise and even went on tour performing the film’s soundtrack. Knowing the soundtrack would be in the hands of someone who would treat it with care gave fans some sense of relief, even if it would be different from the original.

Now, back to the big debate: Did it end up being similar enough to the original? As someone who fell in love with both versions of the film, it’s hard to compare them in that way. Of course, it wasn’t exactly like the original because what would be the point of creating a film that’s the same as its inspiration? It carries the same essence, but with its own personal touch.

The original is a much more hard-hitting and abrupt type of horror, while the newer version is more subtle and mind-twisting. It’s like when a band covers another artist’s song. The same message and story are being told, but how it’s being told is what changes. I believe that’s what differentiates the two films. They tell the same story, just in very different ways. Both do an amazing job of creating what they wanted to achieve with their audience.

That’s why the new “Suspiria” deserves so much more recognition. I’m sure that if A24 had gotten ahold of creating the remake, more fans of the original would have eagerly anticipated it. Remakes and sequels in today’s society get such a bad reputation. I understand that not everything needs to have a remake, but I believe that the remake of “Suspiria” has a clear purpose and can pose the question “What if we did ‘blank’ a different way?” to viewers. For this and many other reasons, I think it’s more than worth giving a chance. This goes for art on any platform that wants to try doing something new and creative. As a society, we just need to stop comparing everything to one another and enjoy art for what it is and what it can be. 

Writer Profile

Tori Barney

Columbia College Chicago
Creative Writing

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