#suspiria remake had its fancy trailer debut and it looks compelling and different, but why is this being made?
What separates the experience of seeing the original, in all its glory, and this remake, which looks like it’s trading in the same space of impenetrable cosmic horror as the original? It makes me think about cover versions. When I go to see a cover band or tribute band, I’m getting to see a recreation of live performance that I missed out on because the original happened too long ago. So there is a unique and otherwise unavailable event that I get to experience thanks to the love, dedication and hard work of an artist who was so moved by the original.
But let’s not forget what’s in it for the performer! This is a dream fulfilled where an artist gets to live out the fantasy of BEING her or is inspiration. Every person who plays guitar for a hobby thinks of themselves up on stage as they blow through the chords of a favorite song. For me it was definitely Neil Young ‘Cinnamon Girl.’
So, imagine a film student absolutely fascinated by Argento and Giallo and Suspiria and thinks to herself it himself ‘what an experience it must be to have made that film!’ Any film must have a measure of vanity or there would be less impetus to get the thing made. But if the point is ‘Suspiria is this great movie a lot of people don’t know about,’ then why not show THAT movie? Why do the remake? What’s in it for the customer/audience?
Hannibal is a fantastic piece of TV, but it gives us a very different version of the Silence of the Lambs mythos. At the same time, the film Red Dragon with Ed Norton essentially a remake of ‘Manhunter’ which came out 16 years earlier. Manhunter is an amazing, iconic movie. Red Dragon is nothing more than a feeble attempt to mike the Anthony Hopkins franchise. There was literally no other reason for that film to be made.
#suspiria seems to present a lot of risks. People who love the original will see the remake as an inferior and derivative work. People with no love or appreciation of Giallo will be turned off by the excessive stylization and opaque narrative. I don’t know when the release date is, but I see zero chance for this film to obtain exec contextual box office success. It’s not getting nominated for an Oscar, it’s not a summer blockbuster. And while I’m impressed by the trailer as evidence of product, I can’t help but think that the whole production is nothing more than a curiosity. It strikes me as indulgent and unoriginal.
More than anything else, it makes me want to go back and watch the original