I was thrilled to see the original of this movie by Dario Argento at Summerhall in Edinburgh during this year’s Fringe with the original score performed by Goblin, live on stage.
It was a great experience but, in my view, it’s an overhyped movie with little to recommend other than the astonishing score and the remarkable cinematography in its vivid, over-saturated colour.
The film itself is pretty unremarkable.,
But it was enough to tempt me into seeing the remake which is, in my view, much more remarkable.
It’s an incredibly odd follow on from director Luca Gaudanino’s “Call Me By Your Name’ – a touching and sentimental coming of age gay romance set in Italy and starring the incredible Timothy Chalomet.
This leaps genres like I’ve rarely seen a director do.
Gaudanino’s remake has none of the zing of the original, indeed the colour palette is quite muted. It’s also dull throughout as a result of the endless rain (then snow).
It’s set in 1977 West Berlin with the Baader-Meinhoff (RAF) gang in full flow and providing a sinister backdrop to what is already a sinister movie.
Guadanino casts Dakota Johnson (50 Shades of Grey) and a malevolent Tilda Swinton brilliantly, but I also liked the performance of Mia Goth as Johnson’s best friend in a crazy dance school.
The award winning dance school that Johnson seeks and gains entrance too after a remarkable audition is actually a witches coven and Johnson appears to be the next sacrificial lamb to the God the witches worship.
But it’s not that straightforward.
It’s a long, slow, considered movie with an inevitable Sixth Act (yes it’s presented in six acts) denouement that’s a fantastic gore-fest.
The movie is getting mixed reviews and I understand that. It’s really slow. It’s arthouse not shock mall theatre. If you want Halloween forget it.
But it’s great.
Really well directed and acted and Thom Yorke’s score is great although less intrusive than Goblin’s.