The 1977 Italian film of the same name by Dario Argento served as the basis for the 2018 supernatural horror film Suspiria, which was directed by Luca Guadagnino and has a screenplay by David Kajganich.
Dakota Johnson plays a young American woman who enrolls in a prominent dancing school in Berlin that is operated by a group of witches in the film.
Tilda Swinton co-stars in three roles: as the coven’s leader and the principal choreographer for the group; as a male psychiatrist associated with the academy.
Angela Winkler, Ingrid Caven, Sylvie Testud, Renée Soutendijk, and Christine LeBoutte play some of the matron characters at the academy, while Mia Goth, Elena Fokina, and Chloe Grace Moretz play supporting roles as students.
The original movie’s lead Jessica Harper makes a brief cameo. After Guadagnino purchased the rights from Argento and Daria Nicolodi, the creators of the original movie, in 2008, a remake of Suspiria was first teased.
Guadagnino pitched the movie to David Gordon Green, but the venture was ultimately shelved because of funding issues. Guadagnino announced his intention to helm the film in September 2015 and described it as a “homage” to the original rather than a straightforward remake.
Kajganich, who had written Guadagnino’s A Bigger Splash the previous year, wrote a brand-new screenplay. In order to examine issues of generational guilt in that nation during the Cold War, Kajganich chose to set the movie in 1977 during the so-called “German Autumn.”
Motherhood, wickedness, and the dynamics of matriarchies are some of the other themes in the movie.
In order to try out for the Markos Dance Company in 1977, Susie Bannion left her Mennonite family in Ohio and traveled to West Berlin at the height of the German Autumn.
When Patricia Hingle, another dancer, abruptly vanished, she confessed to her psychotherapist, Dr. Josef Klemperer, that the school’s matrons were a coven of witches who worshipped the Three Mothers—a trio of witches who once roamed Earth and were known as Mother Tenebrarum, Mother Lachrymarum, and Mother Suspiriorum.
Her appearance coincides with the disappearance of the other dancer. Susie makes friends with rich classmate Sara Simms, and Madame Blanc, the artistic director, and choreographer notices her dancing.
Patricia’s companion Olga Ivanova accuses the matrons of witchcraft and being to blame for Patricia’s disappearance during a rehearsal. In the meantime, Susie dances for Madame Blanc as her actions remotely cause fatal damage to Olga‘s body.
Olga tries to leave the school but ends up confined in a chamber. When the matrons locate Olga, they use strong hooks to dredge her away.
They scheme to use Susie as a host body for Mother Helena Markos, an elderly witch who has long controlled the coven and formally elect Markos as their leader over Blanc. A shy matron named Miss Griffith ends her life afterward.
Susie is chosen to be Blanc’s protege, and Volk gives her the major role. Sara agrees to help Klemperer read through Patricia’s notebooks as he grows suspicious of the matrons.
Sara finds a secret passageway leading to the mütterhaus, the coven’s inner sanctuary where rituals are performed. As they investigate Patricia’s absence, she removes one of the big hooks and gives it to Klemperer.
Sara visits the sanctum again on the first night of Volk and discovers Patricia inside, her body shriveled and decaying. Before the performance, the matrons catch her, and holes start to appear on the floor, breaking Sara’s leg.
Midway through the show, Sara appears, dancing her part while under the influence of hypnosis, but she passes out from pain before the dance is finished. All the dancers, with the exception of Susie, are thrown into trances while celebrating by dining out with the matrons.
Klemperer throws away the hook and Patricia’s possessions before going back to his East German dacha and running into Anke, his wife who vanished during the war. Anke reveals that she escaped the Nazis and went to Bristol.
Together, the couple strolls till they reach the border and return to West Berlin. Klemperer is accosted by the matrons after discovering he has been taken to the company’s premises in preparation for an upcoming witches’ sabbath after Anke vanishes.
Susie is directed to the mütterhaus, where she finds the matrons, a Klemperer who is disabled, and the dancers who are enthralled. To start the sabbath, Sara, Patricia, and Olga are disemboweled, but Blanc tries to stop the ceremony.
Blanc is nearly beheaded by Markos as he strikes her in a fit of wrath. Susie initially appears to embrace her role as Markos’ new vessel before revealing her true identity as Mother Suspiriorum and her mission to purge the business of the dishonest Markos and her allies.
She calls forth the embodiment of Death, which kills Markos and her devoted supporters. The remaining teachers and pupils dance as Olga, Patricia, and Sara pass away quietly at Susie’s hands.
Klemperer is let go in a confused state, and while Miss Boutaher tells the students that Blanc is leaving, Miss Vendegast finds Blanc still alive. Susie visits Klemperer to express her regret for her deeds as Mother Suspiriorum.
She tells him that after being taken by the Nazis, Anke perished at Theresienstadt. He had a seizure as a result of Mother Suspiriorum’s attempt to wipe his memory before she departs.
The current owners of their dacha fail to see the carving of Klemperer and Anke’s initials on the wall. Susie is in the nighttime streets of Berlin in the post-credits sequence. She gives things a detached look, extends her hand, grins, and walks away.
Susie is Mother Suspiriorum, and Suspiria’s climax shows that she is furious with Markos and her adherents. She summons Death, who murders Markos and her allies, and offers Sara, Olga, and Patricia death to end their agony.
When Dr. Klemperer is in recovery, Susie Suspiriorum goes to see him and tells him the truth about his wife: that she was murdered by the Nazis in a death camp.
By creating a seizure that erases all the atrocities he has seen, Susie also spares him the agony of holding onto this memory.
When Did Susie Become Suspiriorum?
It’s difficult to say. But if I had to guess, I would say several years before Susie arrived from America in Germany. Susie is compelled to attend the school from within. Suspiriorum seems to have slowly emerged from within her over the years, eventually completely taking over Susie. Beheading Madame Blanc may have been the tipping point.
Suspiria Post-Credits Scene
Susie can be seen focusing on something and reaching out to it in the Suspiria 2018 post-credit scene before she exits the picture. The 1977 Italian original was one of a trilogy. The Hollywood remake can also consist of three parts.