When you remake a Dario Argento film, you may find yourself considering lots of strange topics very seriously, like “How much VFX do these gory ballerinas need?” or “Am I going too monochrome to convey just how much blood there is?” When footage from Suspiria has already caused an uproar and minor points of the film have already become the fodder for online conspiracy theories, those questions may seem inconsequential — but the answers draw back the curtain on what promises to be one of the year’s weirdest horror films.
In an interview with Deadline, director Luca Guadagnino (of Call Me By Your Name fame) explained plenty — but his answers often raised more questions. Addressing some of the more impactful moments from the footage already released, Guadagnino spoke of the dancers and visual effects used in the extended dance sequence that results in a crumpled heap of a seemingly possessed ballerina, broken and soiled.
Apparently, almost all of that scene was present on set. “Elena [Fokina] is an incredible dancer and a wonderful actress,” Guadagnino said of the scene's star, who is making her movie debut here. “We shot the sequence mainly without VFX. It’s 85% Elena’s performance and Damien Jalet’s choreography. We used some prosthetics, and we removed some physical elements afterwards in the digital process, but we did not use CGI 3D work.” Holy moly. For a scene that gets as nasty and graphic as it does, it’s startling to know a human being can do that to one's own body.
This startling scene was likely one of many violent, off-the-wall segments that Amazon greenlit in the process of OK-ing its first horror film. Guadagnino said that working with the studio was great, adding, “We had great conversations about all the different shades of blood.” Yikes. Apple Blush or Rouge Delight? Anyone have some swatches? That also factors into the bloody new poster:
The team might have more time to select the perfect hue than fans had, though, as this might not be the last we see of the Suspiria-verse. Asked about potential sequels (since Argento’s Suspiria was followed by Inferno and The Mother of Tears), Guadagnino said, “At the beginning we were going to title the movie Suspiria: Part One, but we didn’t want to give the impression of something that couldn’t stand alone.”
“Truthfully,” the director said, “I’d be interested to explore the origin of Madame Blanc and Helena Marcus and also the future of Suzy Bannion in the world. So maybe. We’ll have to see how the movie goes.”
That open-endedness could explain why the film has a post-credits teaser shot, one where “the character is looking forward towards something” mysterious.
We’ll have to wait until after Suspiria slinks into its theatrical wide release on Nov. 2 to find out.