Articles and Interviews, blog

Today (Monday 4 June 2018) Amazon Studios released the first teaser trailer for Luca Guadagnino’s upcoming remake of SUSPIRIA. 

The 1977 original by Dario Argento, one of the masters of Italian horror, was a supernatural and vivid masterpiece as vibrant in colour as it was dark in soul and so it was understandable upon the announcement of a remake that many fans were anxious at best and angry at worst.

Even myself felt some trepidation, after all there was no need for a remake as the original despite its age holds up to this day and is still widely available. My initial concerns remained in place upon the unveiling of the first poster.

This poster was more than just a teaser or an announcement, it was a an opportunity for the producers (marketing team, creative team and everyone involved) to adjust how potential viewers would see the film, it would give an opportunity for the 2018 version of SUSPIRIA to position itself for all audiences, regardless of whether they were familiar with Dario Argento version or not.

So it was a great disappointment when the poster was unveiled as when viewed without much context and on its own the font style and production technique were so mis-aligned with the tone of the film it was hard to understand the ideas or objective behind it.

A stone like background with a messy-yet-computerised, I would even go as far as to say artificial and contrived, painted “S” would certainly be understandable to the initiated but certainly would not appease or excite. While those new prospective fans, unaware of the film, would surely be left uninformed by this poster without any article to support it and no doubt would surely be wondering what kind of film it is. Hardly conducive to sticking in their memory. 

Here in lies the dangers with modern day drip feeding of content, there may or may not be any context to support or help form an opinion. For many, myself included this washed out background and artificial foreground red was bland, the font type of the S looked bloated and there was little to latch on it.

Ultimately it was a design that would not change anyones mind, those who wanted to bad mouth the film would use this to do so and those wanted to keep an open mind would still keep that niggling worry in the back of their head. 

But we all would talk about it, increase its reach and perhaps that is all that matters.

So with the teaser video, the next piece of teaser marketing being fed to us masses I was delighted to see and understand the complete use of the logo (for lack of a better term), to see and understand a bit more about the tone of the film and most of all start to feel the atmosphere of the film.

A much darker colour scheme permeates throughout this trailer (as opposed to those popping primary colours previously) but the sense of unease remains as the footage comes across as both frantic, claustrophobic and sinister all at the same time and I for one am now very excited to see this film.

There is always a danger in analysing a trailer too much but here the footage chosen works hinting at a wider, sinister and cruel mystery that would be apparent to anyone regardless of their familiarity with the source material.

After speaking with the highly informative Bob Freudstein (of the amazing House of Freudstein blog and more) he recognised the Red Army Fraction logo in the diary adding another potential line of inquiry, red herring or perhaps even inconsequential cultural/period reference piece. Very intriguing.

I am delighted to see that those creatively behind the film have had the bravery to go their own way and put their own stamp on things rather that simply regurgitate or appease. No matter what happens this will be Luca Guadagnino’s SUSPIRIA and based on this trailer the November release date cannot come soon enough. 

What are your thoughts on the trailer and the remake? Let me know over on Twitter.

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