Still from the horror film Suspiria

Horror films often aim to shock the viewer by using psychological aspects and mind games. The horror film industry is characterized by the use of specific techniques to arouse human emotions such as fear, fright and anxiety. Strangely enough, this has a positive reaction from people, even though the emotions experienced during the film screening are the opposite of positive. In order to create a film that will make an impression and win the audience’s favor, filmmakers appeal to the strongest human emotions, not just by using horrifying sounds or shocking images.

While many horror films of the past can be described as rather superficial, as they tended to use visual tools (aiming to shock the viewer with images rather than the senses), nowadays horror filmmakers are increasingly trying to tap into the auditory and emotional senses of the human being, creating a mixture of mysticism and horror.

Suspiria tells the story of Sara Banon (played by Dakota Johnson), an American girl who wants to learn the art of dance and enters a dance academy in Berlin. While improving her dancing skills, Sara becomes infatuated with the dance director Madame Blanche (played by Tilda Swinton), but suddenly strange and mysterious things start to happen at the academy: there are mysterious stories about the directors and missing girls, and some of the girls actually disappear mysteriously. This film tells the story of witches and the darkness that surrounds them. In fact, the idea of the film itself comes from the essay Suspiria de Profundis (1885) by Thomas De Quincey, on which the director Dario Argento based the first version of this film in 1970. It was his most successful film and won many awards and praise. The first version was characterized by its visual and stylistic taste and its vivid colors, and forty years later, director Luca Guadagnino decided to make his own version of Suspiria and bring the story to life.

The second version of Suspiria is accompanied by a graceful and lyrical progression of events, but all this seems to be overshadowed by the film’s heavy atmosphere. It is mystical and often incomprehensible, and certain details are used that make you think about their meaning. The director played well with the rhythm of the film, changing shots and doubling and combining scenes that were linked (for example, the dancing of the girl and the torture at the same time). Throughout the film, there is a sense that something has not yet been said, something is being hidden and something mysterious is going on, which makes it compelling to watch the film to the end.

The colors of the film are gloomy, with a dark palette. The choice of sound reflections is also excellent, and we can hear the dancer’s breathing and even the sounds of her body during the dance, which creates an uncomfortable and rather spooky atmosphere while watching the film. It is no secret that the film also draws attention to the famous actresses who star in the film, such as Dakota Johnson, famous for her performance in Fifty Shades of Grey, and the Oscar-winning actress with the distinctive looks, Tilda Swinton, who has played three roles in the movie. In the film, one of the characters she plays is a man, so the actress had to spend long hours in the make-up chair.

The second version of Suspiria was directed by Luca Guadagnino, director of the Oscar-winning film Call Me by Your Name, so there were high expectations for Suspiria’s performance. Some film critics have criticized the film’s release, not understanding why a second version was needed and claiming that the film will not escape comparison with the first. It was also felt that the director had gone to great lengths to make the film an hour longer, adding unnecessary and obscure dream details that were not explained at the climax. And the climax itself… It destroyed the lyricism and grace by moving on to scenes of blood and nudity.

It’s a film that has it all, that scares and makes you think. It is stylistically interesting, distinctive in the way it is presented and complemented by its controversial ending. If horror films are your thing, this movie should get your attention.

You may also like: