“Suspiria”: A Kinky Coven of a Film That Means Itself to Death.

The Luca Guadagnino remake of Dario Argento’s classic Suspiria shoehorns the holy trinity of horror: witches, the Holocaust and terrorism. Meaning so facades and reflects meaning that it becomes un-meaning, which in turn leads to malaise and boredom when a six act structure plus epilogue stretches three acts beyond audience patience and a padded two hour and thirty minute running time.

The weirdest phantasmagoria of a witches coven that combines arterial spray, disembowelment, kinky satanic choreography, and Tilda Swinton inhabiting multiples possessions, demons and codgers (that deserves an Oscar for the best multi-character performance of the century) occupies the last thirty minutes, raising Suspiria to almost good.

This is a film by a director trying to find meaning by extension, throwing in true terrors with the supernatural ones in the hope that something truly purposeful arises from the witch’s brew. Guadagnino suffers the curse of the serious director trying to overachieve on a passion project that is best executed when it is not serious enough.

Sometimes horror just needs to be scary not deeply horrifying. Good art is in the execution not in the amount of kitsch it contains.

Suspiria is what happens when a noted sensualist refuses to go pulpy. He gets lost in the colors, the art and sound design, the homages. He loses sight of the Dario Argento-ness, the real Giallo.

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