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Luca Guadagnino

When it was announced that Dario Argento’s classic giallo Suspiria was set for a remake, there were murmurs of disapproval amongst diehard fans. Their unease was tempered by the fact that the director of this new production was art-house darling Luca Guadagnino (Call Me By Your Name). The result, which premiered at the Venice Film Festival, has gone on to polarise critics and audiences. Although some of the same plot points remain, Guadagnino’s Suspiria is a very different beast.

"...a blend of psychological thriller, straight out horror, and avant-garde performance."

It’s 1977, and Susie Bannion (Dakota Johnson), a runaway from a Mennonite community, has come to West Berlin to audition for a prestigious dance academy. Despite her lack of training, Susie’s raw talent and commitment catch the eye of the demanding Madame Blanc (Tilda Swinton). But there is definitely something disturbing about this all-female troupe, signalled by the disappearance of a talented but troubled dancer named Patricia (Chloë Grace Moretz). Ignoring the warnings of fellow students, Susie auditions for the lead role in Volk, the group’s most prestigious production. She gets her wish, but what will be the price of taking centre stage?

Paying homage to 1970s fashion, music and cinema, Suspiria is a blend of psychological thriller, straight out horror, and avant-garde performance. With a soundtrack by Radiohead’s Thom Yorke contributing to the eerie atmosphere and an earthy visual palette which is the opposite of Argento’s film, this Suspiria definitely marches to the beat of Luca Guadagnino’s drum.