The upcoming remake of horror classic Suspiria will be something totally different. The original Suspiria was directed by Italian horror maestro Dario Argento and tells the story of an American student arriving at a German dance academy, and slowly realizing it's run by a witch. The story takes second place to the film’s rich Technicolor visuals, Goblin's memorable score and the ultra-gory murder setpieces.
The film is rightly considered Argento’s finest moment, and fans of Suspiria are doubtful a new version could even approach the haunting atmosphere of the original. Natalie Portman and director David Gordon Green tried to launch a remake attempt a few years ago, but it fell apart over funding issues. Now director Luca Guadagnino (Call Me By Your Name) will be helming the remake, with Dakota Johnson playing the lead role.
Guadagnino has been talking about his take on Suspiria in a new interview with Criterion and revealed the project is something very personal to him.
"I have three months until I finish it. It’s a very special film, and I’m proud of it. I wonder all the time how people will react to it, being that it is based on a masterpiece. I often find myself in the position of saying “Oh, it’s ridiculous!” when I hear stories that they want to remake a movie like 8½, so I don’t know if I’m going to be served the same dish. But I can say that my Suspiria is a very personal film; it’s like oxygen to me. When I saw the original movie thirty-two years ago, the emotion I felt was so strong, so mind-blowing, and so important to my upbringing. I wanted to investigate the experience I had watching that film."
This new version of Suspiria is still somewhat mysterious, as no stills or trailers have been revealed for it yet. It does have a great cast lined up though, and in addition to Johnson, the film also stars Chloe Grace Moretz, Mia Goth, Tilda Swinton, and original star Jessica Harper will make a cameo. Swinton also discussed the film in a recent interview with Allocine, stating:
“It's inspired by the same story, but it goes in different directions, it explores other reasons. Its semantics, of course, but I think people really have to understand that this is not a remake, because the word "remake" gives the impression that we want to erase the original, and the opposite is what we tried to do."
It will be interesting to see what direction this new take will go in. Suspiria is a unique film and isn’t really a natural candidate for a glossy remake. That said, with such a unique line-up of talent – including Thom Yorke as composter – this new take at least stands a chance of living up to the original.
Suspiria is due for release sometime in 2018.