Rated 2.0

It was only when faced with the prospect of an impending remake that I finally worked up the nerve to watch Dario Argento’s 1977 horror classic Suspiria, but I’m happy to report that the film is a complete blast, all over-the-top style, deranged energy and fever dream logic, with gonzo fairytale visuals and a rightfully iconic original score. Unfortunately, watching Argento’s lean and hyper-potent gothic vision in such proximity to Luca Guadagnino’s plodding parade float of a remake does the latter film no favors, as there is not a single way in which the newer film compares favorably to its predecessor. Of course, Guadagnino’s flavorless film is less a straight remake than a dreaded “homage,” with subtext becoming text, the unspoken getting spoken and tantalizing assumptions transforming into leaden story points. It’s like listening to an endless lecture on Suspiria delivered by someone with a tenuous grasp of the subject. D.B.