Suspiria Review – Shocking, Character Driven Performances Carry This Supernatural Horror Drama

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Suspiria, from Amazon Studios, presents a story of the ageless battle of good verses evil as a coven of witches seek to find the one who has come to breathe life into them and inherit her rightful place.

Directed by Luca Guadagnino, Suspiria stars Dakota Johnson, Tilda Swinton, Mia Goth, Chloe Grace Moritz, Angela Winkler, Alek Wek, Elena Kokina, Mikael Olsson, Fred Kelemen, Sylvie Testud, Ingrid Caven, Clementine Houdart, Christine Leboutte, Vincenza Modica and Marjolanie Uscotti.

The film begins in a divided Germany, circa 1977, at the office of a psychologist of Dr. Josef  Klemperer, played by Tilda Swinton, and a young girl, Patricia, played Chloe Grace Moretz, who is obviously disturbed. A heightened level of stress, and what becomes obvious in the short time we see her something supernatural has happened to her at her ballet conservatory.

She runs out of the Doctors office leaving a diary, a journal, depicting many satanic symbols and what appears to be attempts to analytically find the key or work out the mystery enough to see the signs when they appears so to stay away and not become them.


The Guilty Review - Intense, An Edge of the Seat Psychological Thriller


Walking up the steps, a girl enters the conservatory and is greeted by Miss Tanner, played by Angela Winkler, and explains she is Susie Bannon, played by Dakota Johnson, and is here for her audition. After the preliminary questions, she is taken to the studio.

Miss Millius, played by Alek Wek, Miss Tanner watch the girl from Ohio perform a modern dance audition. The force of her movements and the connection she had seemed to awaken the spirits waiting for the one who would usher in a new era.

For those who understand the signs, the dance audition brought acceptance from the one waiting and drew Madame Blanc, played by Tilda Swinton, a former prima ballerina who is the star instructor, to the room.

The next day, the audience finally sees the first true and tangible indication of what is actually behind the facade of the conservatory. The dance of the protagonist, whom Susie chooses to dance, which brings the spirit world to life and moves in force against those who would attempt to stop them.

Slowly we discover the methodology of Madame Blanc, who as the draw for the conversatory also preps the chosen one, or grooms the student, she is talented, yes, to Madame Blanc she is perfection with a few rough edges, as a performer she is available, to Madame Blanc, who has increasingly become seduced by her talent and not so quick to have her sacrificed, she has a rare gift and cultivating the gift becomes the push/pull as the others want to move quickly to satisfy those who wait.

Our psychologist, Dr. Joseph, whom we met in the beginning of the film has become increasingly concerned about Patricia, and decides to first go to the conservatory, where he is dismissed and then to file a missing persons report. The detectives are actually like ever other detective and are waiting for the person reporting the situation to prove the case, to lay all the cards out, to pull as mush information as they can and then dismiss the filer with the usual disregard.

There are many thing about Suspiria that are done well. Obviously, the cast provides stunning, formidable and thought provoking performances. Tilda Swinton, once again shows a depth both in the reserved and refined Madame Blanc and more importantly the other persona she had been cast to play. Her portrayal of Dr. Josef Klemperer is powerful. She is impressive, a force and continues to push the envelope.

Of course, Dakota Johnson, who continues to take on roles that move her past a passing fancy to real strength and real talent able to take meaty roles and require her to keep her clothes on, and deliver solid, emotional charged performances. She handles the technical aspect of the modern dance movements.

Suspiria wouldn’t be the film it is without the supporting cast. Each of the dancers, the instructors and others brought strength to the film and roles.

There were many things about the film that were done well. Luca Guadagnino clearly marked the time, the audience understood the era they were living in, there was no question as to time and he used news reports to support that season of civil unrest.

And even further the spirit world, without having the opportunity to speak with him, the idea of sending and receiving dreams and conversations, which play heavily in the film, are done well with a collage of geometric, psychedelic waves, representing the transmission of thoughts and ideas.

Throughout the film our sleuth, Sara, played by Mia Goth, had been trying to find evidence and when she does we finally see the waiting place, where those who were sacrificed before her are waiting. The inability to escape is hampered by violent mutilations.

The finality holds another of Ms. Swinton’s roles in the film as she takes on the undead, grotesque character Markos. The film is a matter of tastes. It is clearly satanic, and doesn’t shy away for the satanic expression and doesn’t project as much evil as has been shown in other films.


Can You Ever Forgive Me Review - Brilliant Performances Drive this True Story


There is a gratuitous nudity, as the ultimate sacrifice scenes call for the nearly all female cast to be nude. And of course, the very graphic and bloody ending. I felt like a director of Luca Guadagnino’s caliber cheated a bit by utilizing the same method of termination for the detractors. If it were a second film it would be a sequel, as it is in the same five minutes it is overkill.

Expect Suspiria to be around during awards season as Ms. Swinton should receive a suppportng nomination for her portrayal of Dr. Josef Klemperer.

Suspiria held my attention throughout the entire film. It is a supernatural horror film with a well told, story and strong character driven performances by an exceptional cast.

Suspiria, which has played at every major film festival to much acclaim, opens in select US cities Friday, October 2018. See it.

Haute Tease

  • SAG Becomes Legal – It’s Party Time

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    The Screen Actors Guild awards turns 21 on January 30th and in honor of celebrating its legal drinking age, it’s time to take the SAG’s to a whole new level for that I present a drinking game to help you pass the time.

     
  • Spring, if You’re Reading This… Can You Visit Soon

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    As I look outside my window, to see a whole city covered in a blanket of snow, I’m reminded of Bing Crosby, Christmas carols and all things holiday. Yet, the presents under the tree have been opened for some time now, the ornaments gone, and lights properly put away. Don’t get me wrong, I love winter, being from Colorado; I love skiing down the slopes of Breckenridge and walking in my snow-boots to Starbucks. I love everything from the first frost to the last flake falling.

     
  • The 91st Academy Awards: Regina King, Olivia Colman, Mahershala Ali and Rami Malek Take Top Acting Honors

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    The 91st Academy Awards have wrapped and as many reflect on the surprises and upsets overall Oscar voters broke records, spread the wealth and honored many with a much deserved statuette seeing only performance, effort and achievement.

     
  • Giant Pictures to Release Award Winning Documentary Celebrating The 30th Anniversary Edition of Distant Harmony: Pavarotti In China

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Giant Pictures, the digital film distributor of Giant Interactive, will release the 30th Anniversary Edition of director DeWitt Sage's feature documentary Distant Harmony: Pavarotti in China allowing audiences worldwide to experience Luciano Pavarotti's 1986 travels to Beijing.

     
  • Judge in Stanford Rape Case Stops Hearing Criminal Cases

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Judge Aaron Persky, who sentenced the Stanford convicted rapist to six months including time served, has stopped hearing felony cases due to the public outrage over his leniency in what has been deemed a travesty of justice.

     
  • Wind River Review – Suspenseful, A Gripping Thriller

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Wind River, from The Weinstein Company, present the story of a brutal murder, a wildlife tracker, a novice FBI agent, outlaw rouge justice, traditions and modern life on the Native American Reservation and the search for truth.

     
  • No Ordinary Vacation: Live “The Suite Life” At Capella Pedregal

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button
    Capella Pedregal in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, the ultra-luxury vacation haven for Fortune 500 CEOs and celebrities alike is adding a special twist to their already breathtaking suites with specially crafted themes for those looking to turn a normal vacation into a “Suite Life” experience.  
  • Courant d'air Glacial à l'ONU

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    L'échec du sommet exceptionnel de l'Organisation des Nations Unies sur le climat a mis en lumière toutes oppositions portées par les pays les plus pollueurs prêts à ne concéder que mesures finalement secondaires. Fallait-il s'en douter ou simplement le redouter, voire les deux ?  

  • Robert Kennedy Leads Effort as Decade-Long Gulf Oil Spill Case Settled

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    The Taylor Energy Company announced today that the company has agreed to a $400,000 settlement in a lawsuit over a decade-old oil leak in the Gulf of Mexico. The company was sued in 2012 by the Waterkeeper Alliance.

     
  • Teen Spirit Review - Charming Cinderella Story Inspires

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Teen Spirit, from Bleecker Street Films and Interscope, brings to the screen the Cinderella story of every singing contestant hopeful who believe that one audition will lead to that golden ticket and a chance at destiny.

     
  • Money News: Global Markets Close Down; Europe, Asian Markets Down; Nikkei Closes Up

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    The Dow Jones Industrial closed the trading week down with a stunning loss as the bear market roared back pummeling the three main U.S. and mauling nine of the ten most watched global markets with the same intensity.

     
  • Celebrity Real Estate News: Songstress Carole King’s 128 Acre Idaho Compound Hits Market

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Perhaps longer than any other American singer and song writer, Carole King has been a favorite of the Baby-Boom generation. Her writing and recording career began in 1958 at age 16 writing hits for a wide range of performers from Bobby Vee and Tony Orlando to Aretha Franklin and the Drifters.

     
  • The Circle Review – The Story of Ernest Ostertag and Robi Rapp Highlight Hard Won Freedoms

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    "The Circle," the Swiss official selection for the 87th Academy Award, presents the story of Röbi Rapp and Ernst Ostertag, who after decades of living openly in the shadows, became the first same-sex couple to register for domestic partnership.

     
  • Hackett Mill Gallery Announces Summer/Fall/Winter 2018 Programming

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    The summer at Hackett Mill brings a solo feature by San Francisco painter Raimonds Staprans who is exhibiting several never before seen pieces and New York Studio School alumni living on the West Coast will present West Coast Connections.

     
  • Beltway Insider: Trump Begins 2020 Stump; Korean War Vets; Bali; Osama bin Laden; Ebola; Turkey; Wildfires; WH Cuts Access

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    President Trump took to the campaign trail this week stumping through Ohio and Pennsylvania, bringing his usual, Make America Great Again battle cry as the mid-term elections have the ability to shut down any effectiveness of the current Administration.