Suspiria – Original Vs. Remake

Hi all!

Welcome to a new segment on my blog, where I pit an original horror film against its remake and discuss which one I personally believe is better. There will be a few factors to take into consideration: a.) Does the remake improve the original story, b.) Is the original already so superior, the remake is quite irrelevant and c.) Do both films exist side-by-side, complementing one another in horror cinematic history? For our first subject, we are going to be tackling Dario Argento’s, Suspiria from 1977 and Luca Guadagnino’s reboot from 2018. If you didn’t know, these movies take place at a strange dance academy in Berlin, overseen by a coven of bloodthirsty witches. Just remember, it’s okay if we don’t agree. This is just my opinion. Without further ado, let’s get into it!

Round #1 – Improvement 

If you want a lengthier version of Suspiria, that provides more insight into German history, the remake is for you. However, in my personal opinion, the reboot does not improve the original story. In fact, it muddies it. The 1977 version is much more straight-forward, with a shorter running time at only 99 minutes, as opposed to the 2018 adaptation at 152 minutes. The storyline flows and makes sense cohesively, with a gradual build to a terrifying climax. The remake moves between different timelines, not quite knowing what it wants to be. Dario Argento himself has commented on the reboot, saying: It did not excite me, it betrayed the spirit of the original film: there is no fear, there is no music. The film has not satisfied me so much.” It’s safe to say that Luca’s version did not supersede its predecessor. It felt more like an art-house, inspired take on what came before it.

Winner – Suspiria 1977

Round #2 – Relevance

Was the original so superior, a remake was irrelevant? That is the question. If I’m being perfectly honest, Suspiria from 1977 isn’t one of my favourite horror movies but after watching the remake, I definitely prefer it. Sometimes reboots are made to entice younger audiences, who aren’t interested in watching the older films. They prefer to enjoy a classic under a more modern lens. However, Suspiria from 2018 is quite confusing (as mentioned above) so I actually think they would understand Argento’s version better. I do want to touch on the cast from the remake. It boasts some big names like Tilda SwintonMia Goth, Dakota Johnson, Chloe Grace Moretz and Ingrid Caven. The actors alone were what excited me to watch but, in my opinion, the original did not need a remake.

Winner – Suspiria 1977 

Round #3 – Cohesion

Can these two movies exist cohesively, side by side? Well, yes and no. The remake is not a continuation of the story, nor does it improve upon the original. It therefore resides in cinematic horror history as an option for either a younger audience or those that genuinely prefer it over what came before. No judgement! If you love this version more, that is completely valid. A remake does not have to be a complete replication of its predecessor, but it should aim to include elements of the story that made it so iconic in the first place. A perfect example of this is Ringu vs. The Ring. Both films complement one another but remain true to themselves. As the 2018 feature does not provide a nod to the original chaotic score or vivid colour palette, I can’t say the pair make sense cohesively.

Winner – Suspiria 1977

THE WINNER IS: Suspiria 1977

I have to give it to the original. It won by a landslide. Remember, this is just personal taste. I am open to hearing why the remake is superior, so feel free to respectfully discuss it with me in the comments!

Thank you so much for reading! What are your thoughts? I have a whole list of films I’m going to be covering but if you have any suggestions, please let me know. I’ll be back next time to tackle The Hills Have Eyes.

Peace & Love xoxo

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