Director Luca Guadagnino pirouettes far from the easy-living, Italian-countryside romance of last year’s Call Me By Your Name for an arthouse-meets-Grand Guignol reboot of one of the freakiest horror movies to come out of the 1970s. And he pulls it off in delicious, gut-punching style. Here, he expands the story around an ingénue (Dakota Johnson) who enrolls at a renowned ballet school in Berlin only to find what’s going on behind the scenes is more than your typical theatrical magic.

Poster for the borderline insane suspense film SuspiriaTilda Swinton pulls impressive triple duty, playing head teacher Madame Blanc, elderly therapist Dr. Josef Klemperer (billed in the credits as ‘Lutz Ebersdorf’) and Helena Markos, whom fans of the original will know as the leader of the school’s coven of witches.

Johnson holds her own as newcomer Susie Bannion, the mysteriously fast-rising star, while Chloë Grace Moretz appears as a tormented former student. The finale should have you clutching your face Home Alone-style as Guadagnino goes totally for broke. Call it the spooky-season version of A Star Is Born (and one with a lot more kick, if you ask me).

– Sara Stewart, The New York Post

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