Luca Guadagnino’s highly anticipated remake of “Suspiria” bowed at Venice Film Festival Saturday at the Sala Grande Venezia, where it received an eight-minute standing ovation and no boos, contrary to the morning press screening.
The ovation may not necessarily be indicative of “Suspiria’s” true reception — film premieres are traditionally met with a standing ovation as a courtesy to the filmmakers present.
Although he has an ambivalent relationship with Italy, Guadagnino was welcomed on the red carpet by fans chanting “Luca, Luca!”
Guadagnino and stars Dakota Johnson and Tilda Swinton all wore different shades of red to the premiere, on theme with the film’s bloody content and the colors of its press materials.
“Suspiria,” which is sitting at a 64% on Rotten Tomatoes, has divided critics, with some, like Variety‘s Owen Gleiberman, deploring its lack of frights and excess of pretension. Others praised its stylization and thematic content.
See what critics have to say below:
“Director Luca Guadagnino has remade Dario Argento’s flamboyant nuthouse horror movie into an art film about dance and witches in divided Berlin that’s so self-serious it forgets to scare you.”
“A breathtaking achievement in hollow, know-somethingish sensationalism that fully deserves to be called ‘pretentious.’ And quite a few other things.”
“What does Guadagnino’s version convey? Boredom, mostly, with confusion and a dollop of disappointment and irritation. The frights aren’t frightening, the political subtext never connects with the rest of the movie, and even Guadagnino’s generally unfailing visual sense isn’t enough to put this over.”
“‘Suspiria’ is a film of rare and unfettered madness, and it leaves behind a scalding message that’s written in pain and blood: The future will be a nightmare if we can’t take responsibility for the past.”
Suspiria is a gorgeous, hideous, uncompromising film, and while it seeks to do many things, settling our minds about the brutality of the past and human nature is not one of them.
“There are smart moments of fear and subliminal shivers of disquiet, the dance sequences are good and of course Guadagnino could never be anything other than an intelligent film-maker. But this is a weirdly passionless film.”