One of the most disturbing scenes in Luca Guadagnino's Suspiria was shown to select individuals who allowed their reactions to be recorded. The scene in question is the now infamous part in the remake when Dakota Johnson's Susie uses some witch magic to contort the body of another dancer in flesh shredding, bone popping agony. Parts of this scene were shown at this year's CinemaCon, and viewers were turning their heads away from the screen and gasping at what they saw.
Now, in a new effort to promote Suspiria on Halloween, Amazon Studios has released a video of unsuspecting viewers watching the aforementioned scene. With headphones. The scene is intense enough as it is, but adding headphones to the mix is straight up sadistic on behalf of Amazon Studios. As to be expected, there's a lot of covering of one's eyes, turning away, gasping, and nearly everybody talking about how disturbing it is. Those reactions are not unlike what has been happening in theaters, though none of these participants walked out of the special screening, like some viewers have in theaters.
Luca Guadagnino's Suspiria has been getting mixed reviews since it hit theaters, but one thing that nearly everybody can agree upon is how scary and memorable, or scarring, the movie is. When approaching the now infamous contortion scene, Guadagnino did not want to rely on digital effects. Instead, he wanted Elena Fokina to do as much as she possibly could physically, which she did. The director estimates that about 80 percent of what we see on the screen was all done by the actress, while the other 20 percent was done with prosthetic makeup and very little digital effects.
In addition, Luca Guadagnino attributes the disturbing scene to the collaboration between Dakota Johnson, Elena Fokina, and Suspiria choreographer Damien Jalet. The three worked together closely to come up with one of the more messed up scenes in modern cinematic history. While the script called for more of a dance based on the elegant moves of ballet, Jalet thought that the scene would work better with more angular and sharp movements on the side of Johnson's Susie character. Guadagnino then worked in the editing room to make everything look spontaneous, though Jalet admits that it took "surgical precision" to make the dance look so out of place.
Suspiria is currently in theaters, and tonight might be the best time to go and see it in theaters since it's Halloween, and it's a Wednesday night. Go in with an open mind and prepare to be taken to some disturbing places that are made even more unsettling by Radiohead front man Thom Yorke's off-kilter score. While the visuals are the main focus, the sound design and score are equally terrifying, leaving scars on the eyes and the ears. You can watch some participants react to the aforementioned scene from Suspiria below, thanks to the Amazon Studios YouTube channel.