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Oct 14 2019

Horror Actressing: Mia Goth in "Suspiria"

byJason Adams

To tell the truth it's been taking me a coven's worth of willpower not to use this "Great Moments in Horror Actressing"series week after week as an excuse to go through the cast-list of Luca Guadagnino'sSuspiriaone by one by one and highlight every single woman in the film -- there's nary a weak link in sight,everybody is serving something special,and that's a lot of every-bodies given how deep that cast-list runs.

Thankfully I'm not alone in my obsession,and one of my favorite horror writers on the entire internet,Stacie Ponder at Final Girl,hasdevoted the entire month of Octoberto doing just that.She's not just talking the stellar cast though -- every day she's dissecting themes and images and if you ask me proving to the naysayers (of which those of us who adore the film know there are many,more many,than there are lovers) that Guadagnino gifted us with a profoundly rich and moving horror masterpiece,aching up to its eaves with feeling.

AnywayStacie's impelling piecelast week on the love relationship between Susie (Dakota Johnson) and Sara (Mia Goth) finally managed to break my back with respect to holding out on talking this movie -- specifically I've had nothing but Goth's work on my mind for seven straight days.And what a blessing that's been...

Goth's only been acting since 2013 and film-makers have tended to rely heavily on her astonishing face -- specifically those great big eyes of hers,which have brought her comparison to Shelley Duvall and with good reason.Goth has done several scary movies and she fits right in with those eyes,but Guadagnino gives her so much more to play with than just terrified victim -- the arc of that relationship with Johnson is the crux of it,but one of my favorite scenes in the film is the one where Sara goes to meet Dr.Klemperer (Old Man Tilda),and it's all due to Goth's performance.

The scene is three minutes long and Sara politely,discretely,cycles through all of the emotions -- she starts out composed (my god how composed Goth gets to look in the film's best fashions) and almost amused by this funny old man.But as his story grows stranger and drags more of her friends into its muck she quickly grows terrified,and Goth sells the evolution flawlessly.You can see it sneak up on her,the violence of it;watch the way she chews that cake.I find food acting will often highlight an actor's worst instincts -- bad actors over-chew and swing their cutlery around emphatically.

Goth does none of that.Sara is quietly enjoying that cake -- in her performance you can imagine how these dancers don't get to enjoy cake (or chicken wings,to reference an earlier scene) all that often.Food,specifically Bad Unhealthy Food,becomes sacred.And you can watch the joy of that delicious looking cake just drain right out of Sara as Klemperer's tales of horror take hold.A world where cake loses its deliciousness?Now that's horror.

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Reader Comments (15)

Just watched Suspiria for second time yesterday,and yes,it's so good,absolutely mesmerizing.I too was captivated by the restaurant scene - Goth (along w/ Tilda) is great in it.I wanted that cake really badly.And you know,I'd forgotten how moving the wrap up storyline with the professor was.
Also recall my disappointment that the critics here at TFE just did not get this film at all,they were resistant from the get-go.Thanks,Jason,as ever!

October 14,2019 | Unregistered CommenterRob

I´d like to suggest Angela Bettis in May or Fairuza Balk in The Craft for that series

October 14,2019 | Unregistered CommenterCésar Gaytán

I absolutely loved Tilda Swinton inSuspiria(my personal BSA pick for last year),but Mia Goth was certainly another standout and deserves this praise.

I've watched this film probably five times at this point and thoroughly enjoyed each viewing.A shame it was seemingly lost on so many.

October 14,2019 | Unregistered CommenterKeelay!

Tilda is a timeless goddess of the screen.I love her one and done Oscar,I have enough worry about perennial of my heart Kathy Bate's next nomination or two.They're Inevitable,an uptick in solid supporting roles is due,and she'll surely make the lead or two left in her a shining moment,but I am growing impatient.

October 14,2019 | Unregistered Commenter/3rtful

I watched it for a 2nd time and it's an uneasy watch,it does go off the rails with the ending but the cast are excellent esp all the witches,the only thing lacking is in Dakota.

October 14,2019 | Unregistered Commentermarkgordonuk

Tilda is a timeless goddess of the screen.I love her one and done Oscar,I have enough worry about perennial of my heart Kathy Bate's next nomination or two.They're Inevitable,an uptick in solid supporting roles is due,and she'll surely make the lead or two left in her a shining moment,but I am growing impatient.


October 14,2019 | Unregistered Commenter/3rtful

The worse remake in the history of cinema

October 14,2019 | Unregistered CommenterJaragon

The worse remake in the history of cinema

Total Recall (2012)

October 14,2019 | Unregistered CommenterKieran Scarlett

I'm a proud SUSPIRIA (2018) truther.Love it a whole lot more than the original,honestly.

Mia Goth is the MVP for me.Very happy you chose to write about her!

October 14,2019 | Unregistered CommenterRoger

35 male horror fan from Philadelphia Pennsylvania---

I loved!!Suspiria it was a straight fantasy dream reality absolutely beautiful and horrifying movie I've ever seen.Much much better than the original.

The girls looked so good actors were amazing and the music I just loved

Awesome film

October 14,2019 | Unregistered CommenterAllen Titinik

Mia Goth was extremely overlooked for what she did in the film in terms of her physicality but also being this character who is just trying to help and understand what the fuck is going on.

October 14,2019 | Unregistered Commenterthevoid99

Mia Goth is truly the unsung hero of this film.

October 14,2019 | Unregistered CommenterMatthew St.Clair

Mia Goth,indeed,is spectacular inSuspiriaand so is Tilda Swinton by the way.As Sara,Goth's scene with Dr Klemperer is vivid,but her scenes when she slowly unravelled was close to an art piece.

Goth was also intense in Claire Denis'High Lifeas the troubled Boyse,but then again everyone's troubled in that film.But Mia Goth's delineation of Boyse has that silent boil of simmering anger,unpackaged scream,and feral wildness -- all at the same time.

October 15,2019 | Unregistered CommenterOwl

I absolutely hated the Suspiria remake.I thought it was pretentious and just really took away everything that made the original special.Stunning visuals and audio,and some decent acting but the story and script made me really dislike it.I do think Goth was the MVP though,she enthralled me every time she was on screen.

October 15,2019 | Unregistered CommenterSebastian

I agree with Sebastian- it's a terrible movie whose talented cast deserve better- it doesn't even work as an art film unless your think boring pretentiousness is good cinema.I never heard they remade"Total Recall"but the original is not a masterpiece of horror .

October 15,2019 | Unregistered CommenterJaragon

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