Radiohead’s Thom Yorke has just shared the first complete song from the Suspiria soundtrack he’s scoring, and, from what we've seen so far of the uneasy beauty of the horror movie it accompanies, it walks a fine line between prettily pleasing and unsettlingly pensive.
Yorke's “Suspirium,” a quiet, piano-based track that eventually echoes Radiohead’s more delicate music as his thin, ethereal vocals kick in, never goes for all-out tension, instead opting for a more elegiac mood that insinuates just the faintest touch of menace as it rolls along.
The spare piano motif in “Suspirium” reportedly will recur throughout the movie, staking out an aural counterpart for the film’s lurking-beneath-the-surface horror vibe. It appears to be an apt pairing for a film that relies on its fine-arts dance academy setting to form the controlled, mannered backdrop for all the hidden chaos that promises eventually to break loose.
The video that accompanies the song doesn't appear to give much away. From start to finish, it's more or less just a posterized, two-tone abstraction. The clip features a color-silhouetted dancer who eventually morphs into two, and then three, before merging back into a single character and walking offscreen as the song itself ends. If there's a spoiler hidden away in that, it has to be the kind that only makes sense once you've seen the movie itself.
Director Luca Guadagnino (Call Me By Your Name) already has said his goal in reimagining the 1977 horror classic for a modern audience is to disturb viewers as deeply as possible, and judging from early critics’ polarized response — as well as the eight-minute ovation Suspiria just received at the Venice Film Festival — it appears he’s at least made a movie that evokes strong reaction.
There’s still a bit of a wait, though, before we get the chance to form reactions of our own: Dakota Johnson, Tilda Swinton, Chloë Grace Moretz and the rest of Suspiria's ensemble cast will finally trip into U.S. theaters beginning Nov. 2. As for Yorke's soundtrack, it'll be available starting Oct. 26.