Thursday, October 6, 2016

Here comes that SUSPIRIA re-make nobody asked for


I've warmed to the idea of remakes in recent years. Part of this is from my wandering fascination with William Shakespeare, a man whose plays have been endlessly re-purposed over the centuries, often with interesting results. (I find it difficult to refuse an adaption of "Macbeth.") But my interest in slasher movies has also played a role in my change of heart. John Carpenter was correct when he said it's impossible to make a sequel to HALLOWEEN without essentially remaking that first movie, which is why he's avoided helming later installments of the franchise. That hasn't stopped me from watching them all, though.

On a fundamental level, every slasher movie is the same story. There's no real difference between FRIDAY THE 13TH, HALLOWEEN, BLACK CHRISTMAS and THE BURNING, except the vision of their individual directors. Horror fans will sit through dozens of iterations of this sub-genre (frequently to the confusion of our friends and families) just so see how the next director handles their familiar tropes. Nobody gets beaten up for staging "Hamlet" for the umpteenth time, after all. (Yes, I just compared FRIDAY THE 13TH to "Hamlet.")

So, go ahead ... re-make all the things. Adapting another movie is no less creatively bankrupt than adapting a book, television show or graphic novel.

That being said, it seems like a remarkably terrible idea to re-make 1977's SUSPIRIA, a film that has no business being as good as it is. Director Dario Argento managed to capture lightning in a bottle with that film, and it takes a level of arrogance level with Henry Frankenstein to think you can do that same trick twice. Even Argento hasn't been able to repeat that success in the years since (although PHENOMENA is pretty fun.)

But that's what director Luca Guadagnino intends to do, according to Variety. Attached to his new version of SUSPIRIA are Chloe Moretz, Tilda Swinton, Dakota Johnson and Mia Goth. Amazon Studios is financing the production and will distribute the film.

At the moment, everything else about SUSPIRIA (2017) is pure speculation ... will this be a straight re-make, or will it be an In Name Only revival, such as Zack Snyder's DAWN OF THE DEAD? Is Swinton playing "Madame Blanc," the role played by Joan Bennett in the original, or is screen shy villain "Helena Markos" getting a beefed up role? And can a Moretz-led remake of Oliver Stone's SEIZURE be far behind?

Source: Variety

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