Let me preface this text by saying that:
a) I haven’t watched Suspiria, either this version of the film or the 1977 Dario Argento original: I’m not a big fan of horror flicks in general, as I don’t necessarily see the point in willingly scaring oneself. These days specifically, there are enough reasons to feel anxious not to have to lock yourself into a dark room and get a concentrated dose of nightmarish visions, I say…
b) My appreciation for Thom Yorke’s work in recent years has been somewhat lukewarm, as his absolutely acceptable — commendable, even — desire to experiment doesn’t always result in objectively brilliant work. That said, I still believe that the man is one of the most important living musicians out there, whether he bangs on a piano with his feet in the dark or decides to create a new “Paranoid Android”.
Now, Suspiria… From what I gather from watching the trailer and interviews — I’ve watched that, ironically for a longer length of time than the duration of the actual film — the atmosphere of this remake is quite polished and the desired effect — bleak, unhinged tension — is somewhat achieved. The very fact that the action takes place in 70’s Berlin is reason enough for me to appreciate any piece of art, to be honest, but that only seems to be a subtle backdrop for a sophisticated, if paroxystic story of supernatural and/or demented visions and stories.
My main source of interest for the film is not the film, though, as one might expect from the above. As it happens, the soundtrack of said film, as one might also expect from the above, was composed by none other than Radiohead frontman and British musical genius Thom Yorke.
At it also happens, Yorke’s output is at worst interesting here. It provides a highly consistent, dark (or, at the very least, “grey”) and intense context for the action to take place. His compositions are intriguing, as always, and full of those strange, disturbing, somewhat dissonant elements that have come to define Radiohead’s contemporary sound. His voice serves the material perfectly, adding a layer of nostalgic undertones to this lingering piece of atmospherical music.
In the end, it may very well be that Thom Yorke is at his best here, or rather best served by the format: his current style and artistic vision are incredibly well suited for film in general, and such a dark one in particular. Almost makes me wanna watch it…