Suspiria is a movie that I had heard about before watching in class. There had been so many reviews about it (both negative and positive), but I still didn’t expect it’d be something I would absolutely be cray about. It doesn’t exactly use the dance academy as anything more than just a new place to gather a bunch of girls together and throw them through a nightmarish haunted mansion. But the setting is still properly used shining the spotlight on the art of dance as a gateway into a horror film.
The way the dancers bodies twist and serve with horror combined with the rising tension of the aggressive pressure to get everything right, as their breaths get heavier, faster, and harder, ends up making you equally as exhausted as they are, except you don’t get to feel the relief that they do. Every scene in the movie surprises you that right as soon as you think you’ve seen the worst, Guadagnino goes out of his way to show you just how deep this rabbit hole goes and the places you end up in aren’t exactly places you want to stay, making you uncomfortable. The film never fails to keep you on your toes, and engulfed in its perpetual state of terror. Atmosphere is very much what this film is focused on. The director sets up the scenes but doesn’t really give an indication of where it’s going, and it’s not schlocky horror that you’re waiting for jump scares to come at the screen, but you are waiting for something. Whether it’s a gratuitous scene involving the witches, or random shots spliced together, I was never not on edge. And I don’t know about other people, but there’s something about uncomfortable movies that know how to make me uneasy with prolonged shots and the proper use of silence and/or music that I greatly admire. I admire subtlety of creative decisions that lead to generating anxiety on the viewers.
Another thing I love is how the film shows us the inner workings of a group, how they interact with each other. I was surprised as well how this movie managed to do so much with such a drab looking color palette. The performances are also to be noted as I thought they all did absolutely amazing. Furthermore, the film manages to be challenging, scary, and utterly captivating from start to finish, even with the nearly three-hour run time.