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It's the Booze Talkin': Don't remake Dario Argento's Suspiria!

08.23.2016by: JimmyO

Do you remember your first experiences with certain directors? I certainly do. And one that I’ll never forget is the magic of SUSPIRIA from legendary Dario Argento. It was a late night and I decided to rent the film as I had only heard stories about it. While the plot is more than a bit strange - ridiculous perhaps - the fact is the movie really is a masterpiece of atmosphere, set design and color. If you are looking for a straight forward frightfest, this wild tale of witches at a ballet academy will probably not appease you. Yet for most genre fans, it is a beautiful display of brutality and wickedness with some of the best cinematography to ever appear in a horror movie. They really don’t make them like this anymore. And, in the case of this particular film, they shouldn't even try.

Dario Argento deep red Dracula 3D four flies on grey velvet Giallo inferno it's the booze talkin mother of tears once upon a time in the west opera phenomena sleepless Suspiria tenebre The Bird with the Crystal Plumage the card player the cat o' nine tails the phantom of the opera the stendhal syndrome trauma two evil eyes

Argento’s early career was beyond impressive. The filmmaker had found success as a writer with a “story by” credit for ONCE UPON A TIME IN THE WEST in 1968 as well as a number of other films. Yet it was in 1970 when he released the nightmarish THE BIRD WITH THE CRYSTAL PLUMAGE. He followed that up with FOUR FLIES ON GREY VELVET and THE CAT O’ NINE TALES - both in 1971. All of which involve bizarre murders and artfully told tales of debauchery. Argento’s brutal assault on the senses continued with the 1975 thriller DEEP RED. As a filmmaker, he offered up beautiful victims and startlingly gorgeous imagery, yet it was the follow up to DEEP RED that many consider his masterpiece.

Dario Argento deep red Dracula 3D four flies on grey velvet Giallo inferno it's the booze talkin mother of tears once upon a time in the west opera phenomena sleepless Suspiria tenebre The Bird with the Crystal Plumage the card player the cat o' nine tails the phantom of the opera the stendhal syndrome trauma two evil eyes

You can’t talk about horror movies without talking about the beauty of SUSPIRIA. The 1977 feature was alive with color, and it featured one of the most electrifying on-screen deaths ever. That double kill early on in the film is one of the most thrilling bits of violence and terror ever committed to screen. When the poor woman’s heart is literally punctured with a knife, it is one of the most shocking horror images that I’ve ever witnessed. It wasn’t realistic, it was pure art - as if Van Gogh had directed a slasher flick. Add to that the terrifying score by Goblin and you have one of the coolest art house horror flicks ever made. And if you thought that was insane, Argento continued to make thrillers that were sexual, bloody, and filled with intoxicatingly graphic images.

Dario Argento deep red Dracula 3D four flies on grey velvet Giallo inferno it's the booze talkin mother of tears once upon a time in the west opera phenomena sleepless Suspiria tenebre The Bird with the Crystal Plumage the card player the cat o' nine tails the phantom of the opera the stendhal syndrome trauma two evil eyes

The director continued his madness with more ludicrously fanciful, and equally f*cked up horror films. Whether it was INFERNO in 1980 or TENEBRE in 1982, Dario Argento was always making something that wasn’t your common scary movie. In 1985, he gave us one of my personal favorites, a little movie with killer insects called PHENOMENA - forget the crappy cut version called CREEPERS. This Jennifer Connelly and Donald Pleasence starring feature about a girl with a psychic connection to insects is a perfectly original and delightfully weird feature. Dario was not a run-of-the-mill director. And while many of his later films aren’t even close to his fantastic earlier work, every so often one would come out that inspired more than just nightmares.

Dario Argento deep red Dracula 3D four flies on grey velvet Giallo inferno it's the booze talkin mother of tears once upon a time in the west opera phenomena sleepless Suspiria tenebre The Bird with the Crystal Plumage the card player the cat o' nine tails the phantom of the opera the stendhal syndrome trauma two evil eyes

As the director matured, his movies lost the grotesque wonder that some of his best works offered. Still, I loved OPERA and THE STENDHAL SYNDROME, however he was never really able to recreate the magic of SUSPIRIA. Recently, the famed director openly discussed his less than enthusiastic response for a remake of his classic film. And I wholeheartedly agree. SUSPIRIA was as much a part of that time period that it would be impossible to truly do justice to a modern version. Updating a feature like that would be an impossible task that will more than likely disappoint. Hell, I’d go so far as to say it would be easier to successfully remake other horror classics, but the one about a ballet school with a hidden witchcraft agenda is a tale that just wouldn’t work as a modern film.

Dario Argento deep red Dracula 3D four flies on grey velvet Giallo inferno it's the booze talkin mother of tears once upon a time in the west opera phenomena sleepless Suspiria tenebre The Bird with the Crystal Plumage the card player the cat o' nine tails the phantom of the opera the stendhal syndrome trauma two evil eyes

Maybe it’s the booze talkin’, but nobody can ever recreate the masterpieces of Dario Argento. From SUSPIRIA to PHENOMENA, his work was as much about mood and the time period as to which they were made. How can one recreate the magic of SUSPIRIA with a remake when Argento himself cannot seem to recapture the glory of his youth? And that’s fine, because we do have the original films which captured the essence of the decade in which they were made, yet are so gorgeously crafted that you can easily return to them today. If there was ever a director whose work shouldn't be trifled with, Dario is certainly that man. In fact, aside from a handful of directors inspired by Argento’s work - perhaps the recent THE NEON DEMON by Nicholas Winding Refn - there is nothing quite like a horror master working in his prime. Of course, as we all know with horror, there is nothing that somebody won’t eventually remake. It’s only a matter of time before we will judge a modern day SUSPIRIA against the original and timeless classic.

Extra Tidbit: How do you feel about Dario Argento's recent work? Is it even remotely comparable to his earlier classics?
Source: AITH

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12:12PM on 08/24/2016
Suspiria really was a product of its time. They can't imitate such classic atmosphere of the original movie. The remake would probably full of jump scares.
Suspiria really was a product of its time. They can't imitate such classic atmosphere of the original movie. The remake would probably full of jump scares.
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11:30AM on 08/23/2016

Don't need booze for that, bro

It's a no brainer. This movie is flawless and should never be remade.
It's a no brainer. This movie is flawless and should never be remade.
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