Fifty shades of red in the horror remake.
Palermo, 1985.” Luca Guadagnino remembers exactly where he was when he first saw Dario Argento’s 1977 horror masterpiece Suspiria. “It was the living room of my family home and I was all alone. It was 9 o’clock in the evening. I was scared and shocked.” Now it’s his turn to crank up the scares with this chilling and challenging remake of Argento’s vivid supernatural tale.
Hot off his Oscar-nominated Call Me By Your Name, Guadagnino has gathered a strong female cast led by his star from 2015’s A Bigger Splash, Dakota Johnson. “An actress who never goes for the obvious,” she plays Susie Bannion, an American dancer who joins a Berlin dance academy hiding a witches’ coven.
While it’s almost an hour longer than the original, Guadagnino does not feel his version is so different. “I like to think this film is a sibling, a cousin, a member of the Argento family,” he says. Argento even gave his blessing after seeing the remake. “He said his movie was ferocious and wild and my movie is intellectual and tender!”
This may come from the exhilarating choreography by Damien Jalet and score by Thom Yorke, the first time the Radiohead frontman has ever written a soundtrack. “I felt this movie needed the voice of our generation, for the music of this film.” How did he get Yorke? “I always ask! I try! Sometimes you succeed, sometimes you don’t!”
With the cast including Argento’s original star Jessica Harper and Chloë Grace Moretz, Guadagnino’s muse Tilda Swinton plays multiple roles, including an ageing male shrink (under prosthetics and credited to the fictional Lutz Ebersdorf). “Our aim was to have a new face born on screen,” he grins. “That’s what I can tell you.”
ETA | 16 NOVEMBER / SUSPIRIA OPENS NEXT MONTH.