Suspiria (2018) & The House That Jack Built (2018) Movie Reviews

Suspiria (2018) & The House That Jack Built (2018) Movie Reviews

February 20, 2019 Off By Peter Vullo

Suspiria (2018)

Director: Luca Guadagnino
Writer: David Kajganich
Starring: Chloë Grace Moretz, Tilda Swinton, Doris Hick

Suspiria (2018) is like a burrito that you put too much shit in and it rips open. Its two and a half hour run time is excruciating.

The movie constantly reminds us that it’s set in 1977 Berlin over and over again, to the point where one wonders if a German history book would be helpful to understand how or why any of it is relevant to the actual plot.

The new Suspiria also features one of the most seemingly pointless characters I’ve seen, an elderly psychotherapist named Dr. Josef Klemperer played by Tilda Swinton in heavy prosthetics. Not entirely sure why Swinton plays the character or if the character serves any real purpose to the plot. Cutting that entire subplot would have trimmed down the movie’s brutal run time.

The movie has a beautiful, natural color palette—a lot of earthy tones. Looks great. But for some reason, a major scene towards the end of the film is shot entirely through a red filter. It looks like something out of the video game Doom. Just awful. Hot trash. Besides the red, the rest of that scene is a jumbled mess.

Suspiria (2018) feels like it contains just about every arthouse movie cliché in the books. Look out for the cryptic imagery that flashes across the screen during a character’s nightmare. Is she holding intestines? Is that an anatomical heart? Wow, so weird!

There’s also a character reveal or “twist” late in the movie that just seems so unnecessary that it’s hard to believe it happens, once again for no apparent purpose.

Sure, Suspiria (2018) is stylish, the performances are good throughout, the kills are mostly striking, and Thom Yorke’s soundtrack is pretty great (especially the song “Suspirium”)—but it is such a slog to sit through. There’s even a post-credits scene to make a long movie even longer! There’s good in it, but it mostly just feels like Luca Guadagnino wants “cinephiles” to sniff his farts for nearly three hours. Cool stuff.

The House That Jack Built (2018)

Director: Lars von Trier
Writers: Lars von Trier, Jenle Hallund
Starring: Matt Dillon, Bruno Ganz, Uma Thurman

Regarding the director’s cut of Lars von Trier’s The House That Jack Built: I thought the movie was hilarious. It almost felt like Seinfeld with a serial killer at times. Some of the funniest scenes of a movie I’ve seen in awhile. First half was almost a comedy.

It was totally ridiculous and full of itself, but aware of it. It went all the way and it went wherever it wanted to go, irreverent and self-referential.

The movie had a lot of extra shit and a bounty of arthouse musings, but I really didn’t feel the runtime that much.

As for the more controversial aspects of the movie, there’s nothing anyone who’s even remotely familiar with horror hasn’t seen before.

Great use of David Bowie’s “Fame” and an all-too-clever use of “Hit the Road Jack”. Look out for the character Jack calls “Grumpy”. There is no forgetting that image. Ever.

-Peter Vullo (@ScareCrowPete)