Film geeks know Luca Guadagnino‘s Suspiria, which stars Dakota Johnson and Tilda Swinton, as the long-awaited remake of an Italian horror classic, noted not only for its chill-inducing fright but for its sublime stylishness. Everyone else may not be as informed, but they will be soon.
After a previous teaser tailer, the first full-length trailer is here, and it promises to please both those wanting a worthy successor to the original and those who just want to watch a bunch of famous actresses in a surreal horror film.
The basic plot finds Johnson playing an American ballet student who is accepted into a prestigious European dance school, only to find that the school may harbor certain terrors when another student, played by Chloë Grace Moretz, flees from the academy.
The trailer opens with voice over from Moretz’s character in the midst of a breakdown. “She wants to get inside of me,” whimpers Moretz. “I can feel her.” That “her” is almost certainly the school’s headmistress, played by Swinton. Later another student played by Mia Goth warns Johnson of the school’s dark side, but, obviously, she gets in too deep. The rest of the trailer is a montage of glimpses of horror like creeping demonic hands, people being disfigured by unseen forces, and women crawling up the walls. Critics who caught a glimpse of one full scene from the movie have claimed it was one of the most disturbing things they’ve ever seen. Johnson, meanwhile, said she had to go to therapy after making the film.
Film geeks should be enticed by the prominent mention of “the three mothers.” The original 1977 Suspiria was directed by Dario Argento, and was part of a loosely connected trilogy, with each film centering on one of those three mothers. While Guadagnino only has plans to remake Suspiria, it seems he may give nods to the rest of the wider Argento mythology.
The only people this trailer probably won’t please: those hoping Guadagnino would follow up Call Me By Your Name with another bittersweet love story. Oh well. The sequel to that movie is still a possibility.
Suspiria will open in New York and Los Angeles on October 26 before going wide on November 2.