Like a colorful lollypop dipped in the fires of apocalypse, “Suspiria” is one devilishly seductive treat.
Italian director Dario Argento’s ("Deep Red," "Tenebra") candy-colored supernatural exercise in mood is a unique picture that drips with unnerving music, striking images and impending dread. And, of course, you have Argento’s notoriously vicious murder scenes -- particularly the brilliant opening.
All of this unites to create one of the genre's best works of art.
And like many works of art there is someone looking to replicate that magic. This week we received more hints of what direction David Gordon Green's ("The Pineapple Express") impending remake may take. He promises a faithful adaption, backed by music utilizing Goblin's pounding score. See our story on his intentions here.
Green's comments are encouraging. Yet we've all witnessed the abysmal record of horror remakes over the years. Rarely do these films exhibit merit.
A remake of "Suspiria" seems both enticing and seriously problematic. I naturally have concerns. But there are areas of Argento's 1977 picture that certainly could use a facelift -- brush up some of the acting, loose the poor dubbing, streamline some effects.
You might add in a facelift for the script too; fixing that weakness of Argento's vision would be an obvious area a remake could excel. But that was never a real issue for me.
After all, there is a recipe at work here that can't be easily dismissed or tampered with. Plot is an afterthought in Argento's film, forced to the backseat by an artistic bombardment of color, composition, music and blood.
Argento gleefully framed his shots like a canvas destined for exhibit in the bowls of hell, presented by opulent widescreen camera work bathed in deep, atmospheric hues of red and blue. Add in Goblin's crazy score and a helping of eye-popping murders and you have some serious hallucinogenic goodness.
As a result, it'll be interesting to see how Green's take on the material develops.
Any filmmaker daring to tread on Argento's classic tale will need a nasty, hard R-rating and a healthy respect for the sensory overload of "Suspira's" nightmarish world. And like the best Bond films, the remake will need a hell of an opening scene.
Green's desire to use a "very faithful, synthesizer" based score is a good first step.
Hopefully, as more news on this project surfaces, we'll discover that the producers and studio behind it have as much insight and respect for the original as Green apparently claims.
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