Guadagnino's Suspiria is every bit as drenched as his former Call Me By Your Name, albeit in different ways. But there are still his trademark moments in the smallest of motions -- the trace of a finger across a page that you can hear as well as feel. And for whatever reason, there's no other director that can make you feel the wind blustering through tree branches outside the window more tactilely. And then there are, of course, a few scenes where you get a little more than the scrape of a tree branch to feel.
At times, Suspiria appears a bit confused -- there are a few underrunning subplots that don't quite coalesce, including a constant reference to an RAF (Red Army Faction) guerrilla campaign. However, the biggest mistake in going into this movie is to be under the impression that it is meant to be a horror movie that thrives on thrills. It does have its share of gore and blood, but Suspiria is more of a suspense that explores themes of motherhood and guilt. Not for nothing is the main dance of the film named "Volk". When the dance company performs it, Madame Blanc announces that it will be the last time that they do so.
Guadagnino works again with cinematographer Sayombhu Mukdeeprom and editor Walter Fasano, and their work together is crucial in creating a flow -- not only of this story which is one of sadness as much as destruction, but also in getting the most impact from the choreography, which is reminiscent of Pina Bausch. The camerawork here is never afraid to let us know of its intrusion. Quick cuts show agitation, as well as the idea of something working behind the scenes. Unlike Call Me By Your Name, where an outside touch is unobtrusive, we have sweeping camera actions and swish pan. For all its debauchery at times, Guadagnino never turns his film into a spectacle. The ending of the film may come as a surprise, but that's only if you've been too focused on the blood spurting out of wounds. Take a look again (if you care or dare to), and think on the relationships between the women, but also the changing dynamic of a daughter or creation to her mother, as well as the meaning of memory and the tragedy in muting it.
Dakota Johnson is fantastic here, able to convincingly portray her evolution from the first innocence we meet in her character. Tilda Swinton, with her sweeping hair and dresses is terrific in her enigmatic and eerie persona. Thom Yorke also does the soundtrack wonderfully -- it's understated, but more than that it molds to the shape of Susie, from the heartfelt to the eerie. It's a personal portrayal of the character's moods and evolution.