As reported in the latest issue of SFX magazine, it seems that the absolute classic horror from Italy’s master director DARIO ARGENTO, SUSPIRIA is about to fall to the horror that is…the remake.
Oh yes, that’s what I said. Be afraid people. The remake monster is forever out there, stalking, roaming sensing blood, sniffing out classic admired horror flick, to devour and churn back out in some disgusting state. Yes, alright there are some remakes that do impress us every so often-I myself do like the TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE and DAWN OF THE DEAD remakes, HOUSE OF WAX, even FRIDAY THE 13th and one of ROB ZOMBIE’S HALLOWEEN remakes/reimaginings.
But this now, with DARIO’S SUSPIRIA has to stop. This is not just another horror trashy, slashy bloody gore cheap B movie. Oh no, this one is a very highly stylised, exceptionally crafted and orchestrated classic film, unlike very other films ever made. DARIO, though very much inspired by the legendary underrated in his time MARIO BAVA, and other regarded as Italy’s ALFRED HITCHCOCK, with SUSPIRIA produced one totally unique bizarre, truly intense stunning experience of a horror film.
I understand that there are many directors out there now, very capable of producing highly modern contemorary takes on previous classic movies, using the very latest camera and filming techniques, new editing and post-production tricks previously never available or existing when the original was made. Now, I would argue that SUSPIRIA is one of the most intense, stylised horror movies ever, but what are the modern recent most intense horror flicks?
Well, looking back over the last few years there has been the whole ‘reality’ hand-held movement, begining possibly with THE BLAIRWITCH PROJECT, then CLOVERFIELD, dabbled in a more mainstream Hollywood way. Then we had the original SAW movies (the rest became deivative quickly and predictably boring), then the strong continuation of the very fine J-HORROR films, RING series, ICHI THE KILLER, maybe the HILLS HAVE EYES remakes. I will not forget the infamous and misogynistic HOSTEL films which were a sad state of affairs and low point of modern horror cinema.
There are still a good number of other intense varied movies, many from around Europe, which is a very good thing to see. The always controvertial LARS VON TRIER with ANTICHRIST, A SERBIAN FILM, I am here trying to think intense horror movies, and not simply exploitative or shocking for the sake of shock.
Some have argued that SUSPIRIA does not exactly make much linear narrative sense, and while that could really be true in ways, I think that the experience is more about watching the film, going through it along with the lead character, through all of the psychedelic, hallucinogenic, terrifying horror in the particular way that it was presented.
Again, as is usually the case, it is quite likely the fact of production campanies hoping to produce a hit movie relying on the pre-existing fanbase loyal to the original movie, who will out of curiosity go and see the new interpretation no matter how terribly half baked it might be.
How is DARIO himself reacting to this remake idea?
Well, while some of his more recent films have been up and down in quality, we can now hopefully expect his soon to be released 3D DRACULA movie featuring RUTGER HAUER. There will, it seems continue to be many unwanted remakes and rehashes of all of our loved and admired movies from our past, but the originals will always be there, to go to and forget the horrors of desperate Hollywood and lazy film companies out there.