• Anthony Piseno

Suspiria: 1977 vs 2018



A couple of years ago Amazon put out a remake of one of the most popular horror films of all time Suspiria. The original was released in 1977 directed by Dario Argento and was praised as one of the most original horror films ever. With a colorful pallet and gruesome deaths this film burns itself into your mind. It flows thanks to a unique soundtrack by the band Goblin. To remake it would be quite the task. In 2018 the remake was released directed by Luca Guadagnino. This version has a colorful pallet like the first and it is very gruesome - but that's the only way they relate. So, how do these films compare? Let's find out.

In the first film, we follow Suzie Bannion played by Jessica Harper, an American dance student who got invited to join a prestigious German Ballet Academy. She discovers that there are strange occurrences happening at the studio, orchestrated by a witches coven housed at the academy.


The remake follows us Susie played by Dakota Johnson also accepted into a German Ballet Academy, but while this version makes clear that witches are involved, it focuses on how they are involved in manipulating the dancing. They added a subplot concerning Nazi's and a man's wife going missing during WW2.


Both are good, The original seems more jarring and it stuck to a single plot - keeping the witches hidden from the viewer. The sequel is more straight-forward, nothing is really hidden, and there's a WWII subplot.


The soundtrack is nowhere near as memorable in the remake of the film. The new film also chose to use way too much CGI gore which really doesn't assist the film in scares or realism - the original simply sticks better. I will say that Tilda Swinton's performance as Madame Blanc, the head of the academy, is stronger than Joan Bennett's. Altogether, I feel that the original is a better film. I saw the remake before the original to escape any bias but when a film is better, it's better. You can watch both on streaming sites and see for yourself, but if you want a terrifying film to watch for the first time, watch the original. I give the 1977 version 8.5/10 and the 2018 version 7/10.

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