Dakota Johnson and Tilda Swinton in Suspiria

Dakota Johnson gives insight into Suspiria's biggest lingering question

Contributed by
Nov 7, 2018

If you were brave enough to see Suspiria in a dark movie theater, you might have been haunted by one question long after the end credits. Dakota Johnson suspected that.

**SPOILER ALERT: Flee for your life if you haven't seen Suspiria and don’t want a really major reveal unearthed.**

Though Johnson's Susie Bannion appears to wear the skin of an innocent Mennonite girl when she first arrives at the Tanz Academy, Bannion is actually something unspeakable in disguise. There is a reason she feels mysteriously drawn to the academy and its creepy choreographer Madame Blanc.

Suspiria mutated into a different kind of monster after Luca Guadagnino incorporated his own mythology into Dario Argento’s 1977 thriller. Murdered student Patricia left behind a series of journals that detail three ancient witches, of which Mater Suspiriorum is supposedly the oldest and wisest. Anyone would probably think that the face of a witch who was somehow still breathing after all those centuries couldn’t be that far off from a leather handbag, let alone a teenage dancer. But Susie Bannion is that witch.

So was Susie always the unlikely incarnation of Mater Suspiriorum, or did she slowly start to morph once she was at the Academy and in the claws of its ruling coven?

“I did make an effort to sort of leave that open for interpretation,” Johnson recently told Collider, adding that “Susie’s evolution is very internal. It’s deeply internal, but the thing that draws her to Berlin to Madame Blanc is also deeply internal… So there’s all these kind of like hints that Susie’s different, but she doesn’t know. She just feels this pull, this magnet, this thing, to dance, and she has to go to Berlin. She has to be with Madame Blanc. It’s like just she was born in the wrong place.”

Susie must have some vague idea of a connection to the monstrous forces hiding within the shadows (along with a corpse or two), but that connection takes time to reveal itself. She can already sense she is linked to something paranormal. The mystery is when exactly she realizes why her movements are breaking the other girls’ bones and changing their eye color, among other things. Worse things.

“Then I believe once she understands what is happening there is a very, very subtle moment where I think she realizes what she’s meant to do,” the actress said. “I want the audience to figure out when that is.”

Meaning, if you’re too anxious to find that out before it comes to streaming, you might have to see Suspiria in the dark again.

(via Bloody-Disgusting)


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