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But where are all those pretty Argento colors?!
Dario Argento’s Suspiria is nothing if not a truly one-of-a-kind art piece experience, with perhaps its two most notable aspects being purely aesthetic. I’m of course talking about Goblin’s haunting score and Argento’s gorgeous technicolor lighting, which come together to imbue Suspiria with a surreal and truly memorable quality all its own.
But when Suspiria returns to theaters this coming November, that aesthetic will be quite different. Rather than re-using Goblin’s score or commissioning a new one from them, Italian director Luca Guadagnino instead enlisted Radiohead’s Thom Yorke to score his remake, and he’s also opted for a muted color palette that’s in direct contrast to Argento’s bright, vivid colors. This much is clear based on yesterday’s eerie, ’70s-feeling teaser trailer, which was heavy on greys and browns and entirely bereft of eye-popping reds and blues. Even our new Susie Bannion’s red hair, a seemingly perfect way for Guadagnino to have added some colorful pop to his take on Argento’s classic, looks muted to the point of nearly being brown.
From an aesthetic standpoint, the lack of color in a movie titled Suspiria is a surprising choice for Guadagnino to have made, but we actually shouldn’t be surprised by what we saw in yesterday’s aforementioned teaser. I say this because not only has Guadagnino stressed from the very beginning that his Suspiria isn’t quite a “remake” of Argento’s 1977 masterpiece, but he also told us outright, over a year ago, that his Suspiria would be anything but colorful.
Guadagnino told Indiewire back in March 2017…
[My Suspiria is] a film about guilt and motherhood. It has no primary colors in its color palette, unlike the original. It will be cold, evil and really dark.
Cold. Evil. Dark. Three words that one could use to describe the first teaser for Guadagnino’s Suspiria, so you can’t say he wasn’t honest up front about what he intended to deliver with this one. Guadagnino, it’s now plainly clear as day, didn’t set out to re-do what Dario Argento already did but rather take the general storyline and *feel* of a film he deeply loves and reinterpret it through his own eyes. His own aesthetic. What Argento did with Suspiria could simply never be recreated by another filmmaker. And Guadagnino smartly didn’t try. Without that iconic Goblin score or “Argento lighting,” Guadagnino’s remake of Suspiria has the chance to stand on its own two feet, free of direct comparisons to its same-named predecessor.
Remakes of beloved classics are something of a “damned if you do, damned if you don’t” situation for filmmakers, as fans have been known to oppose both remakes that lazily recreate films of the past and ones that boldly take them in new directions. But if you’re asking me, the only worthwhile remakes are the ones that fall into the latter category. And though we won’t know for sure until later this year, all signs are at this point in time pointing to Luca Guadagnino’s Suspiria remake being one of the good ones. One of the worthwhile ones.
We’ll find out for sure on November 2.