‘Italian Horror’ is an acquired taste, one not meant for everyone. These kinds of movies have been derided for their nonexistent narratives, bad dubbings and general sleaziness, yet they’re also beloved for their nightmarish imagery, grotesque style and… also general sleaziness… The defenders claim that they’re meant to be surreal, playing out like fever dreams, but whether this is a creative decision to give fans a different kind of horror experience or simply the writers making up scenes as they go along because Italian Productions were often financed one day at a time… probably depends on the filmmaker! Dario Argento was never a critical darling, but his inventive visual style earned him a devoted fanbase and even a grudging respect amongst his detractors. While Argento was obviously influenced by the likes of Mario Bava and Alfred Hitchcock, he also drew inspiration from outside of the genre, including the works of Sergio Leone and Michelangelo Antonioni. Argento’s trade was in Gialli, which can be best described as ‘Italian thrillers with slasher elements‘. Yet during his prime, he was always experimenting with new cinematic techniques, always pushing boundaries of censorship and always improving upon his craft. Argento was an auteur at heart, but this isn’t to say that his works were avant-garde. His career could possibly be summed up as him wanting to remake “Blow Up“, but instead of characters staring pensively into photographs, they’re getting stabbed in the face. He’d draw from the surrealism of Italian Horror, as well as the sophistication of arthouse and filter them through something much more mainstream. Argento didn’t invent ‘Giallo’, but I do believe he deserves to be remembered as the genres’ Daddy, as his works would seemingly influence the entire Italian film industry during the 1970’s and 1980’s. When Gialli fell out of favor with mainstream audiences, Argento continued to keep it alive and his works maintained a certain level of respectability that most of his contemporaries had lost.
My first experience with “Suspiria” actually surrounded Argento’s rival, Lucio Fulci. I had just witnessed Fulci’s gut churning zombie flick titled… erm, “Zombie“… and I was suddenly interested in the realm of spaghetti horror. Because Fulci was often compared and contrasted to Argento, “Suspiria” was name dropped in seemingly every other review I read, so I decided to check it out when I learned that my video store carried a copy. At the time, I was… okay with it… I wouldn’t grow to truly appreciate the movie until I had become much more experienced with the Italian brand of terror, as I grew accustomed to the… eccentric quirks… of these kinds of films. I subsequently explored all/most/a lot of the works of Argenti, Fulci, Mario Bava, Lamberto Bava, Ruggero Deodato, Michele Saovi and even Bruno Mattei. Yet I eventually moved on from the country’s genre output, embracing and falling out with other horror trends, until the announcement of a “Suspiria” remake flooded the internet. I was initially hostile, but the more I learned about the project, the more intrigued I became. I was suddenly excited and inspired to revisit the original cult classic and its sequels — oh yeah, “Suspiria” had sequels… Over the years, “Suspiria“, “Inferno” and “Mother of Tears” would be referred to as the ‘Mothers’ trilogy, but how well have any of these films held up over the years? Did they ever hold up? Does this even really count as a franchise? How in the f@ck does the director of “Deep Red” make “Dracula 3D“? SERIOUSLY, ARGENTO! HOW!? Hopefully, this review series will answer all of these questio — NO, SERIOUSLY! WHAT ABOUT DRACULA TURNING INTO A GIANT F@CKING PREYING MANTIS SOUNDED LIKE A GOOD IDEA!?
(Directed by Dario Argento)
(Written by Daria Nicolodi and Dario Argento)
(Starring Jessica Harper, Stefania Casini and Udo Kier)
“Suspiria” was a change of pace for Argento, as most of his gialli played out like traditional murder mysteries. This one has its own puzzle that needs solving and much like Argento’s other stories, the pieces are all on display early on and it’s up to the protagonist/audience to figure out where they fit — although admittedly there’s little satisfaction to be had in actually doing so. There are no memorable twists or turns or anything I’d describe as ‘clever writing’, as the story doesn’t really try to hide where it’s going. But is this meant to be a criticism? Argento’s works have always been accused of ‘style-over-substance’ and “Suspiria” almost seems to exist as Argento’s way of showing what ‘style-over-substance’ actually looks like… and why ‘style-over-substance’ can be awesome. There is a narrative (woman enters a prestigious dancing school, where strange things happen), but it only serves as a canvas for Argento’s psychedelic, fever-dream-inspired visuals. The biggest challenge of reviewing Argento’s movies is that it’s hard to describe his style without resorting to just listing different scenes. He’s always finding strange perspectives to showcase an event, unusual angles to enhance the suspense and unconventional transitions into the next scenes, all designed to keep the audience entranced. There is nothing unique about POV shots or breaking the fourth wall, but his use of those techniques is so imaginative that he might as well claim ownership of them.”Suspiria” was filmed in technicolor, which causes the vibrant lighting and eccentric set design to really pop out. The kills are incredible because they strike the perfect balance of mean spirited and yet… strangely beautiful? If you thought gore could never be an art, then you have not seen a girl smashed through a window, stabbed so many times that her heart is exposed… so that the open heart can get stabbed itself… and then flung through a fluorescent ceiling, where she finally hangs to death… all awash in gorgeous colors…and maybe I should seek therapy for admitting to being somewhat enamored with a vicious murder, but everything looks amazing in technicolor — and Argento makes technicolor even more amazing.
Argento’s style within “Suspiria” never grows stale because it keeps changing, while remaining thematically in tune with the rest of his bag of tricks. Sometimes the visuals are grounded in reality, albeit in a hypnotic, dream-like kind of way. But then he will suddenly plunge your senses into an abstract nightmare of images and sound. The score by Goblin matches the visuals with its own moodiness and is very, very, VERY catchy to the point of embedding itself into your brain. My only real complaint about this movie is that… one scene… The one scene that every “Suspiria” fan complains about… The lack of plot eventually catches up with the narrative and everything stops so that characters engage in a transparent exposition dump. Besides being dense with information, Argento doesn’t even try to make any of this interesting. The lighting, the colors, the art direction, the camerawork and the editing all become standard for this one scene, almost as if it was quickly shot and thrust into the movie after production had already wrapped. It is only one scene though and if you dislike “Suspiria” at all, it won’t be because of that as much as it will be because you don’t like these kinds of movies. I personally have no problem with style-over-substance, as long as it continuously keeps my interest, but “Suspiria” is a case where the style functions as the substance. I believe horror fans agree with me, as “Suspiria” has been built up into a cult classic over the years and is usually regarded as Argento’s finest contribution to cinema. It was also very financially successful at the time, enough so that Argento would develop a sequel…
(Written and Directed by Dario Argento)
(Starring Leigh McCloskey, Irene Miracle and Eleonora Giorgi)
The writer of the 2018 “Suspiria” remake apparently said in an interview that “as a narrative, it makes almost no sense” in regards to the original, making me wonder what he would think about “Inferno” — the sequel. “Suspiria” might be rudimentary from a storytelling perspective, but it has a relatively simple set-up, a clear protagonist with precise goals and antagonists with standard motivations. At the absolute least, I can describe the plot within a sentence or two. “Inferno” is… um… am I sure I just didn’t drop acid and call it ‘watching a movie’? I’m still not entirely sure what the plot was, as Rose (Irene Miracle) is investigating the “three Mothers”, because she read a book that says their presence is heralded by a strange odor in the air… and she smells something funny… and that is apparently enough of a reason to snoop around in spooky cellars. She writes a letter to her brother Mark (Leigh McCloskey), who forgets it in a classroom, where a fellow student named Sara (Eleonora Giorgi) picks it up… and instead of giving it to him, reads it… and decides to conduct her own investigation… Even though these characters look like human beings, they do not behave as if they are part of the species. They’re prone to making absurd, nonsensical, suicidal decisions, presumably to set-up an admittedly cool set piece that usually leads to their deaths. The narrative goes into bizarre tangents, where a minor character gets harassed by cats, or the servants of another minor character will conspire to steal things. Sometimes characters are introduced, just so they can have a LENGTHY stalk, chase and death scene, as if they had been there since the beginning of the movie. The script is a rambling mess, but I do believe there was a method to Argento’s madness… sometimes… He might actually be drawing influence from “Psycho“, as there are multiple bait-and-switches when it comes to establishing whom the protagonist is. I do appreciate the unpredictability that accompanies this, as it made it a little difficult to tell who would live or die, but the ‘switching’ causes serious pacing problems. There were times when I grew exhausted and impatient, because the suspense would reset every time the perspective changed, wasting a lot of the build up. Also, the Mother of Tears makes a cameo that was distracting, unnecessary and left a lot of questions. “Suspiria” might not have clarified everything, but “Inferno” doesn’t seem to clarify anything.
I had a few theories regarding the script to “Inferno“, but neither seem likely. Italian movies were often written and financed DURING the shoot, so sometimes the plot wouldn’t be developed until post-production. Yet all evidence suggests Argento had secured financing and had a completed script prior to filming, although perhaps his sudden illness on-set influenced the chaotic nature of the story. My second theory was that he was drawing influence from Lucio Fulci, whose films were often designed to resemble nightmares in their abstractness, at the expense of cohesive storytelling. But “Inferno” predates this era in Fulci’s career, meaning that Fulci was probably inspired by “Inferno“… Yet perhaps “Inferno” is meant to be viewed as ‘a bad dream on celluloid’. It might not make sense for a character to wander into a creepy cellar and completely submerge herself, fully clothed, in floodwater, but try explaining that to our nightmares. I remember once waking up in a cold sweat, convinced that the color orange was transforming my Mother into a giant cat. That might sound silly, nonsensical, stupid or awesome, but I was terrified of that bad dream while I was experiencing it. So perhaps “Inferno” is truly a surrealist masterpiece masquerading as an incoherent mess. Or perhaps it’s just an incoherent mess. Or perhaps being an incoherent mess is simply a part of being a surrealist masterpiece?
“Inferno“, for all of its shortcomings, does recapture the style of “Suspiria“. The sets are arguably creepier and the filmmakers have a lot of fun with their designs. The otherworldly and hypnotic colors dominate every scene and are just as unnerving as they are beautiful. The lighting is both flashy and moody, complimenting Argento’s unconventional and inventive camera angles. While I felt that the overarching suspense was lacking, there are some really intense — perhaps even frightening — scenes. There are some unintentionally funny moments too, but “Inferno” contains the creative violence, style and atmosphere that we want out of a Dario Argento movie. Goblin wasn’t brought in to do the soundtrack this time around, but Keith Emerson’s music was… hmmm… I think his score was good, but sometimes the music was awkwardly weaved into the scene. There is a segment during the finale where it grows very bombastic, which felt very out-of-place. Even the most passionate supporter of “Inferno” will admit that it’s flawed; just as I believe every detractor will acknowledge its strengths. “Suspiria” wasn’t for everyone either and if you didn’t like it, I think you’ll like “Inferno” even less. But it fits snugly within my tastes whenever my appetite demands for a surreal, colorful and stylish horror meal. Unfortunately, “Inferno” only received a limited release in the United States and failed at the box office. The reviews were hostile, although the movie would eventually find its audience. Argento himself was disappointed in the finished product. This meant that the proposed ‘Mothers’ trilogy wouldn’t be finished… for almost 30 years.
Fun Fact: Mario Bava (“Black Sunday“) assisted with some of the special effects and second unit work, while his son Lamberto Bava (“Demons“) was the assistant director.
MOTHER OF TEARS (2007)
(Directed by Dario Argento)
(Written by Dario Argento, Jace Anderson and Adam Gierasch)
(Starring Asia Argento, Cristian Solimeno and Adam James)
In Dario Argento’s defense… and that is never a good way to start a review… “Mother of Tears” was produced in an era where less could be done with limited funds… during a low point in Argento’s career… and long after the Italian horror market had dried up in the west. While “Suspiria” was still enjoying its cult status, it lacked a brand, as its follow-ups held standalone titles. So it wasn’t like a sequel was ever going to command a worthy budget or gain mainstream attention. Yet upon the release of “Mother of Tears“, the fandom wailed, grew angry, turned to violence and threw their children off of bridges… only to discover that those weren’t their children… they were cheap looking dolls… Not everyone hated “Mother of Tears” though — even if it seemed like most of the ‘positive’ reviews were lavishing the movie with backhanded compliments, but everyone more-or-less agreed that expectations were not met. “Mother of Tears” was beneath “Suspiria“; “Mother of Tears” was beneath “Inferno“; “Mother of Tears” was beneath Dario Argento; “Mother of Tears” was even beneath Dario Argento during his slumps. I will say this though, “Mother of Tears” was not really beneath the standards of Italian Horror, as these kinds of films were infamous for relying exclusively on gore and nudity — which this is armed to the teeth with. But “Mother of Tears” is Lucio Fulci’s kind of trash, not Argento’s. So what happened? Did Argento just not give a shit? Did he have contempt for everyone who kept demanding that he finish his trilogy? I’m not quite THAT cynical, because after revisiting “Mother of Tears“, I recognized all of the quirks and flourishes that defined Argento’s style… They just all sucked this time around.
The tale of the three Mothers concludes with the revival of Mater Lachrymarum (Moran Atias), who seeks to plunge Rome into chaos. The only one who can stop her is Sarah Mandy (Asia Argento), who not only is the first to witness evidence of Witchcraft, but possibly is a witch herself. I cannot read minds, but “Mother of Tears” feels like either Dario Argento or his financiers were concerned that modern audiences would find his suspense building techniques from the past stale in the context of 2007. “Suspiria” and “Inferno” were somewhat slow paced, so viewers could fully absorb the dreamlike atmosphere, the creepy imagery and the mounting dread, but “Mother of Tears” moves at a brisk run. Jump scares are on the prowl, with demons suddenly popping into frame, false nightmares eating up the running-time and gruesome kills occurring every 15 minutes or so… and shitty CGI effects derailing any potential tension. The first two films took place within the confines of a single location, making the setting a much more dynamic character than the actual characters, but this one covers an entire city… which sounds awesome until you remember the low budget, so you get very little variety within the open environment anyway. Argento has wandered out of his comfort zone in the past, sometimes with disastrous results, but I’d always treated his mistakes as noble experiments-gone-wrong. His rendition of “The Phantom of the Opera” was dogshit, but you knew he wasn’t phoning it in because you don’t have implied man-on-rat sex unless you’re taking some sort of risk. “Mother of Tears” was the first time I’ve ever felt like Argento was disinterested in his own work; serving up a product that feels like a shallow, sloppy imitation of what was trendy at the moment. I guess you can argue that the violence against children counts as a ‘risk’, but I would only agree if this was an American production. Most other countries which have an appetite for horror are not afraid to cross those kinds of lines, especially during the ‘gorn’ or ‘torture porn’ craze that was popular at the time. Scenes of Mothers dropping babies off bridges only stands out as shocking in the United States. Is it necessarily a bad thing that Argento took the trilogy in a new direction? No, I don’t inherently hate jump scares or CGI, but they’re too conventional for this franchise and they just… suck… I might not be complaining about any of this if the false scares made me jump like they’re supposed to.
This isn’t to say that Argento doesn’t dust off some of his old tricks, but he utilizes (bad) CGI instead of his traditional methods and what is the ironic result of this old-meets-new combination? Argento’s stylistic touches look stale and tacky — the very things “Mother of Tears” seemed desperate to avoid! Argento doesn’t have the money to use the same kind of technicolor aesthetic, nor can he really build sets that could potentially enhance whatever thrills he was striving for. Without the psychedelic surrealism, seeing the cast dressed up in strange attire and behaving oddly is more awkward than alluring, even though these same quirks were also present in the previous films. The cinematography is ugly too, so even when Argento is trying to be flashy, the color palette is so dry that the effect is lost. But while Argento’s flourishes might seem ‘old fashioned’ next to the swift pacing, jump scares and CGI effects, they’re still the closest to competency “Mother of Tears” ever achieves. The acting is atrocious, even upstaging the bad dialogue and dubbing. Asia Argento looks embarrassed and bored every time she’s on-screen. The CGI is even worse, with the visual of its heroine interacting with the ghost of her Mother (played by Daria Nicolodi, Asia’s real life Mom) being so laughable that I… laughed myself into getting some genuine enjoyment out of the feature… I laughed even harder when they kept repeating the effect over and over again, as if it was something the filmmakers were proud of. The writing doesn’t make any damn sense either! The heroine realizes that the villains can track her through her cell phone, so she tosses it away, but then… promptly returns to her apartment? WTF? During another scene, she is staying at a friends place and realizes that they’re about to suffer a home invasion, so what does she do? She abandons her friend and attempts to… call her… from a pay phone… when she could’ve easily yelled “WE’RE BEING ATTACKED” and suffered no casualties. When “Inferno” had something absurd like this, at least the bad writing existed so they we’d get a pretty cool visual or set piece! “Mother of Tears” doesn’t get to hide under the surrealism excuse of its predecessors, because it doesn’t have the same dreamlike atmosphere, nor do the stupid moments feel necessary for the cool stuff to occur. It’s just lazy, stupid writing, befitting of a lazy, stupid movie.
But do you know what? I still don’t hate “Mother of Tears“, even if it is a piece of shit that doesn’t deserve to be part of this trilogy. For one, the gore effects are BAD-ASS… well, ignoring that ‘baby getting thrown off a bridge scene… The opening kill is so over-the-top in its viciousness that it primes the audience for some silly, campy, mean spirited schlock. While the remainder of the carnage isn’t as extreme, “Mother of Tears” maintains a mean streak a mile wide. Prepare to be grossed out; prepare to be offended; prepare to be impressed by some of the practical effects; prepare to laugh at all the unintentional hilarity. Every bad thing I’ve listed in this review so far, was accompanied by a slight smile on my part. All of its embarrassments and failures and mistakes are comical on some level. I can’t quite call “Mother of Tears” ‘so bad, it’s good’, but it’s pretty damn close!
(Directed by Luca Guadagnino)
(Written by David Kajganich)
(Starring Dakota Johnson, Tilda Swinton and Mia Goth)
There have been talks about a “Suspiria” remake for awhile, but I think most of us were either wary or hostile towards the proposed project. The original film is highly regarded because of Argento’s distinct style… something even Argento himself seems incapable of replicating these days… So what else can you do with it? The story was always minimal, with very little room for exploration… or so we thought? Luca Guadagnino had previously caught the attention of the world with his much lauded “Call Me by Your Name“, so his attachment to a horror remake would inevitably raise eyebrows in the best way possible, but then that damned trailer was released… and then the other damned trailer was released. The initially apprehensive fandom suddenly were changing their tune and had convinced themselves that a masterpiece was about to drop on them. I myself suspected that either Guadaginino was armed with an amazing movie… or an amazing failure… The trailers definitely were evoking some of the genres finest efforts, such as “The Shining“. But they also made me think of “The Cure for Wellness“, one of the genres finest trainwrecks. The announcement of the unusually long running-time (153 minutes) only reinforced my opinions. I expected — and wanted — that “Suspiria” would either be a groundbreaking success or a fascinating failure. Mediocrity would not by tolerated by my strange standards of quality.
But then the movie came… and just kind of went away…
The reception was polarizing, with some viewing it to be fantastic, others regarding it as pretentious, but its impact on the world seemed minimal. This might be because “Halloween” was crushing the box office at the time, while “Hereditary” had gained traction as the ‘best horror flick of 2018’, but I also suspect that “Suspiria” was merely a ‘good’ movie that couldn’t live up to its aspirations of greatness. I can’t honestly decide whether I like it; or simply respect it; because its flaws are just as pronounced as its strengths… and I was sometimes was bored. REALLY bored; but I was also sometimes entranced by its elegance and its f@cked up content. So where should I begin? “Suspiria (2018)” has a much deeper story than its predecessor did, with more fleshed out characterizations and development, although I would argue that it’s not enough to justify the bloated running-time. Whereas the original definitely had its fair of hokey-ness, this remake is tonally more serious AND disturbing. Argento’s movie harvested eye popping colors, while Guadagnino’s visual style is somewhat muted — but will occasionally spring to life with psychedelic lighting itself. I actually found myself favoring Guadagnino’s presentation in some ways, because it makes the surreal moments pop out a lot more. The cinematographer pays respect to Gialli, with plenty of crash zooms and experimental framing; but “Suspiria (2018)” isn’t really a throwback. It has its own aesthetic and style, which is complimented by a chilling, understated yet very Giallo-esque score. I personally prefer the more iconic Goblin theme, but it probably wouldn’t have been tonally in line with the remake. The dance choreography has a much greater presence here and it is phenomenally staged, being mesmerizing, beautiful, creepy and ambitious all at once. “Suspiria (2018)” is very slow paced and you will have to be patient to get to the horror stuff but HOLY SHIT, this movie isn’t afraid to f@ck its audience up. There are some GRUESOME and TRAUMATIZING moments, with the ‘death by dancing’ ‘kill’ being an awesome display of brutal practical effects. But do you know what freaked me out the most? The scene involving the witches harassing the cops, as it’s almost played for laughs in spite of how disturbing it is, unsettling me even further. I’ve heard complaints about the ending, but I personally thought it was thrilling and weird — about as weird as everything else. The story definitely goes into some different territory, which might alienate some fans, but I’d rather a remake forge its own narrative… especially as the original film isn’t renown for its story telling.
I believe a movie should be as long as it needs to be, whether it’s 90 minutes or 3 hours. Horror films are generally trickier because it’s hard to keep the audience in suspense for a lengthy a mount of time before they start adapting to atmosphere, tension and chills — lessening their desired impact. I believe “Suspiria (2018)” could’ve cut out a lot of material and it would’ve benefited the final product. I kept forgetting that this was supposed to be a period piece and the historical political setting only added more minutes. I kept thinking that there was going to be some sort of social statement or pay-off to this build-up, but if there was, I didn’t notice or care. There are long periods of time when seemingly nothing happens, but then there are other scenes where characters are rushing through exposition. By the time all was said and done, I thought there were some relationships, revelations or character arcs that were unclear or underdeveloped, which is a problem for something this long. The opening scene was garbage, because it’s just Chloë Grace Moretz (who did not need to be here) explaining far too much. The director must’ve realized how transparent this information dump was, as he keeps having her move around the room to liven the scene up, but it only draws attention to how blunt this dialogue is. That ENTIRE scene could’ve been cut out, but I suspect it was only there because they had to give Moretz SOMETHING. Was she studio mandated? It really feels like her entire character was only given importance late into production, as her ‘story’ mostly occurs off-screen, which is very unsatisfying. Some of the stunt casting was pretty distracting in general. The performances are all great (except maybe Moretz; but I blame the scene, not the actress), with Tilda Swinton’s Madame Blanc striking the perfect balance of charismatic, inspiring, mysterious and sinister. Yet the decision to also cast Swinton as the (male) doctor was unintentionally comical. I’ve heard the directors reasoning (it’s a feminine movie, so why not cast a female in the only prominent male role?), but it doesn’t change the fact that the old-man makeup was pretty bad or that the characters’ voice sounds too much like a woman imitating male vocals. It took me out of the movie, regardless of the directors intentions and this is a problem because the doctor is the emotional core of the story. Still… I have to respect Guadagnino for thinking out of the box here. It was at the absolute least, a bold creative choice that shows “Suspiria (2018)” was crafted out of inspiration and wasn’t just produced to be a quick cash grab. I think “Suspiria (2018)” is a good movie, worthy of admiration and respect. Do I view it as an underappreciated masterpiece? No and I suspect unreasonably high expectations will stalk Guadagnino’s career for quite some time. Do I really want to watch it again? Not anytime soon, but it was definitely worth the experience. I’m struggling with the rating, as I feel like a 6.5/10 is too low, but a 7/10 is too high. I think I’m going to be a little more generous, because it ended on a strong note — something this franchise has struggled with. Meh, ratings are silly anyway.
“Suspiria” is not really a franchise as much as it’s a trilogy and a remake… and even then, it’s not like anyone but the dedicated fans are aware of the sequels. These movies are all so different that I don’t even want to talk about them as a series as much as they should be discussed as individual experiences. “Suspiria (1977)” is a cult classic, a favorite amongst horror fans and is arguably the best of one of the most prolific horror directors. The remake is unique; has its own ambitions; and either enthralls or repels audiences for completely different reasons. “Inferno” can either be described as an incomprehensible mess or a surrealist masterpiece. “Mother of Tears” can only be enjoyed as something to be mocked, but it does have a following for that reason and it’s possible Argento deliberately crafted the movie to be enjoyed as camp. I do think the ‘Mother’ trilogy isn’t ideal, just because Argento kept dividing the fandom, but it really seems like this trilogy was never really packaged as a trilogy. Would you enjoy “Inferno“, “Mother of Tears” or the remake if you have not seen the original film? Maybe, or maybe they’d all be worse without it. Should you watch any of these movies? Should you watch all of them? Every case is different because they do function as standalone experiences, so there’s no reason to watch any-or-all of them unless they sound appealing to you. If you don’t like Italian horror, you probably aren’t going to like the trilogy. You might think the remake transcends them, but it also might be too slow and ‘pretentious’ or ‘self indulgent’ for your sensibilities. In short — “Suspiria” might technically be a franchise, but isn’t meant to be experienced or enjoyed as such.