Call Me By Your Name

director Luca Guadagnino helms this remake of his fellow Italian Dario Argento's 1977 cult horror classic.

Set in the year the original film was released, the new Suspiria stars Dakota Johnson as an American dancer who arrives in Berlin hoping to join a prestigious dance academy led by famed choreographer Madame Blanc (Tilda Swinton). She dazzles in her auditions and gains entry, but it turns out the place is a front for a coven of witches.

Argento's film is a good target for a remake as its reputation spreads far beyond its actual audience. Nevertheless, an awareness of the original's unwillingness to spell things out will help carry viewers through the new film, a phantasmagoric experience that demands to be seen by lovers of bold cinema, but probably isn't for all tastes.

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It is driven by a doom-laden tone and overflowing with unsettling horror imagery. I must admit I struggled for the first half of this two-and-a-half-hour movie. But it very much came together for me in the final hour, first in a stunningly-designed dance performance oozing with subtext, and then in a deep horror finale offering something like an elegant riff on early Peter Jackson in its fusion of blood and latex.

Johnson is absolutely astounding in a demanding lead role. Between this and her turn in Bad Times At The El Royale, she's having a hell of a year, and showing that her value as an on-screen talent goes well beyond what the Fifty Shades franchise required of her.

Guadagnino must be applauded for the sheer ambition he displays here – this is a gloriously nuts film, and there aren't enough of those on this scale.

Cast:

Dakota Johnson, Chloe Grace Moretz, Tilda Swinton

Director:

Luca Guadagnino

Rating:

R16 (Violence, horror and nudity)

Running time:

152 minutes

Verdict:

Not for everybody, but undeniably amazing.