After crafting the incredibly beautiful, intimate and touching story of a young man’s first love in the Oscar-winning Call Me By Your Name, Italian director Luca Guadagnino decided to try something different — very, very different.
Guadagnino decided to reimagine Italian director Dario Argento’s 1977 classic thriller Suspiria, casting Dakota Johnson as the American ballerina who attends a German dance academy and discovers the sinister secrets it hides.
“We wanted to immerse the audience in a world that was given no way out,” Guadagnino told the audience at Amazon’s luncheon at CinemaCon.
Before airing a scene from the upcoming film, Amazon Studios’ executive Bob Berney warned the audience — most of whom were still eating their chicken salad — that the clip was a tough, gruesome one to watch.
“It’s tense,” Berney warned. “The scene we’re going to see is beautifully choreographed, and terrifying. This clip is not for the faint of heart.”
He wasn’t kidding.
The scene depicts Johnson as Susie Bannion with Tilda Swindon as Madame Blanc, her instructor. Meanwhile, another girl sobs hysterically as she finds herself trapped inside a room with mirrored walls, with no way out. As Susie starts performing, her aggressive dance moves are echoed with the girl in the mirrored room (played by Elena Fokina), who becomes a helpless marionette, screaming in pain as her body horrifically contorts and snaps in unnatural positions. Her arm snaps backwards, her ribs twist, her body slams into the ground as her spine is violently yanked backwards by invisible strings, and she vomits. As Susie’s dance concludes, the girl in the mirrored room lies prone, her face distorted and her body contorted beyond the possibilities of human nature.
Suspiria will debut in theaters in fall this year.