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Suspiria | 2018 | R | – 8.10.5

content-ratingsWhy is “Suspiria” rated R? The MPAA rating has been assigned for “disturbing content involving ritualistic violence, bloody images and graphic nudity, and for some language including sexual references.” The evaluation includes extended sequences with fully nude men and women, many scenes of very gory and explicit ritualistic violence, and about 4 F-words. Read our parents’ guide below for details on sexual content, violence & strong language.”

An American (Dakota Johnson) enrolls in an elite Berlin dance academy in 1977 and finds that it is operated by a coven of witches. The managing witch (Tilda Swinton), the head choreographer (also Swinton) and a psychotherapist (still Swinton) insert themselves into strange occurrences among the troupe members. Also with Mia Goth, Chloë Grace Moretz, Angela Winkler, Renée Soutendijk, Ingrid Caven, Sylvie Testud and Jessica Harper. Directed by Luca Guadagnini. Most of the dialogue is spoken in German with English subtitles and a few lines are spoken in French with English subtitles. [Running Time: 2:32]

Suspiria SEX/NUDITY 8

 – A woman and a man stand in a trance in an office while three other women cackle at them; the man is nude from the waist down and a laughing woman pokes his genitals (which we see) with a large hook while another woman pokes the comatose woman with a hook and holds a pistol to her own head briefly. Three dozen women from ages in the 20s to the 70s dance nude, writhing and jumping, in a dungeon with about a third of them wearing tight flesh colored underwear but we see full front and back nudity for most of each age group, including the genital area; the women’s private parts shake as they shimmy and one elderly woman is nude with slimy mottled skin and has wart covered face and body and a large tumor covering her lower abdomen and genital area (she also has additional hands protruding from her elbows). Four women are seen totally nude and in fetal positions or completely folded up (we can still see breasts and buttocks with mottled skin). A woman wears a white leotard through which we can see nipples in three scenes. An elderly man with a bloody face and in fetal position reveals full frontal nudity and another view shows his bare back and buttocks. A woman on a toilet pulls her leotard crotch to one side to produce a urine sample and we see a close-up of urine streaming into a cup (we see the woman’s thighs with no genitals visible). A dream includes a partial thigh, partial pubic hair and the arm of a seated woman nearly off-screen on a straight back chair; it is followed by a clothed woman inch-worming up a door frame in a sexual fashion, several views of a woman’s bare back and then a woman aims a large knife at her own chest and the dream ends.
 Over a dozen women dancers wear only tight flesh colored underwear and long strips of cloth over their nipples, across their abdomens, and hanging down to their knees as they gyrate, writhe and jump (we see partially bare buttocks, thighs, breasts except nipples and abdomens). A woman stands in back nudity in her room for a few seconds and she is then seen wearing thong underwear and a sheer black top that reveals the curves of her bosom in the center of a deep V-neck. Several dormitory scenes feature half a dozen women wearing short robes that reveal bare legs to the tops of the thighs with tops that reveal cleavage. Several scenes feature women wearing V-neck tops, leotards, and robes that reveal cleavage. A woman wearing short shorts and a sports bra dances a solo where she writhes, pants, jumps, does a modified twerk on all fours, and rubs herself in a sexually suggestive manner on the floor in a few scenes.
 A room contains several sex-related statuettes that include a tower of breasts with nipples, a writhing nude female figure from waist to knees (there are no details at the groin) and partially nude torsos with breasts that have no nipples.
 A man and a woman kiss passionately for several seconds and embrace for a few seconds. A woman kisses a man on the cheek. A woman with black claws and tumorous skin kisses an ancient witch that collapses and begins to fall apart. A woman kisses several young women, all on the mouth. A woman kisses several women of varying ages on the top of the head. At a large dinner table, older women caress the hair of younger women, who look worried.
 A mumbling woman finally tells a doctor, “They’ll hollow me out and eat my [anatomical term deleted] on a plate.” A woman tells another woman, “Women should shut up their minds and keep their uteruses open.” A woman tells her teacher that dancing feels like what it must feel like to have sex with an animal. A woman says that men are all guilt.


 - We see a woman argue with a witch as she cries, screams and then runs away and becomes locked in a mirrored room; another woman dances a violent and writhing, gyrating dance, and the dance becomes a spell that beats the trapped woman to death as she is repeatedly slammed to the floor and into mirrors (no glass is broken), her lower row of teeth moves halfway out of her mouth, her ribs ripple and push nearly through her skin to leave bruises that we see through tears in her shirt, we hear cracking and crunching as her limbs, back, neck, shoulders and legs all break and wrap around her as she screams repeatedly, she slobbers thick mucus and blood, urinates on the floor (we see and hear a stream), leaves pools of blood and dies; three elderly women enter, stick large curved hooks into her thighs, arms, and back (we see blood) and drag her away, leaving a trail of blood.
 A younger woman announces that she is an ancient witch and pulls her chest open in the middle, revealing black soil and running black liquid as red lights flash behind her head; she summons Death, killing several younger women with profuse bleeding of black blood and dirt as they collapse and dirt sprays around the dungeon and makes it blurry, and a witch points at another witch who slumps to her knees as her neck bursts open in red blood and black dirt (she is seen alive and well the next morning).
 An old, clawed slimy black humanoid without a face enters a dungeon and kisses women to death (please see the Sex/Nudity category for more details). A woman disembowels another woman with her bloody hands and we see intestines coil out in blood and bile and fall in a lump on the floor; the victim does not die but she has a black slit down her abdomen.
 A dancer finds hidden hallways and magical relics and she explores a passageway into catacombs where she finds a decaying witch (please see the Sex/Nudity category for more details) and four women with crippled bodies lying against walls and on a tabletop; the first woman runs and falls into a hole that appears in the floor and breaks a leg (we see the ends of broken bone pierce the skin of the lower leg and blood gush as she shrieks several times); three women appear and when one touches the leg, it heals completely and the injured woman leaves and dances a performance on her broken leg but collapses and we see the broken bone ends push against the skin and hear crunching and a shout.
 A student commits suicide at a dinner table, stabbing herself in the neck three times, spurting blood all over the table as she falls face up onto it as other women at the table scream for several seconds. A student is punished with a spell that makes her fall in a hallway, convulse and slobber thick mucus and foam for several seconds. A witch sends a woman dreams: we see a long worm crawling beside a pair of underwear on a table, a young arm wrinkles and is pierced with a hook that draws blood, a black mask is shown full of long black worms, bowels fall out of a human stomach in close-up with blood and gore, a bloody face, and writhing men and women.
 Two cackling older women grab an elderly man and pull him into a dark dungeon filled with witches and women dancers (please see the Sex/Nudity category for more details). Several women pile up dead bodies in a dungeon while another woman tries to wipe up several yards of blood on the floor. A man throws a heavy carpet bag over a bridge into a river with a muffled splash and the bag may contain the body of a missing woman.
 A man anoints a dying woman with oil at the feet, wrists, and head as he prays a version of the Last Rites: as a woman becomes a witch we see her mother on her deathbed with rasping breath and half-open eyes and says, "She is with the spirit of the world" and the sunlight coming into the room turns red as the woman dies. A montage shows a corpse rising and screaming under a white shroud, women screaming in close-up, and a mirror silently breaking to bits on a floor. An elderly man encounters his presumed-dead wife and they walk together to a dance academy, where she vanishes. A woman visits a man when he is sick and tells him that his wife was taken to a concentration camp, made to stand outside for hours during winter weather and died; he shudders with emotion and when the woman caresses his face, he convulses wildly for a few seconds and is then well.
 A woman shouts at another woman. A woman says that a younger woman is needed to contain a dying witch's spirit, but all the candidates keep dying in the attempt. A woman tells dancers that a jealous dancer may kick other dancers in the ribs. A woman is elected to head a coven and she is said to be dying with disease upon disease. A psychiatrist states that people sometimes commit crimes and call it magic (referring to witchcraft). A news clipping claims a missing woman is a terrorist. A woman says of another woman, "She wants to blow up department stores."
 We hear radio and TV broadcasts about terrorists hijacking an airplane, pouring alcoholic drinks over 91 hostages, and three of the four terrorists being killed. We see soldiers shouting and running across the screen, we hear a bomb explode off-screen and the voices of men and women shouting, but we see no casualties.
 A witch touches the hands and feet of a dancer and they glow with large white spots. A student disappears after telling her psychoanalyst the academy is run by witches.

Suspiria LANGUAGE 5

 - About 4 F-words, 2 anatomical terms, 1 mild obscenity, name-calling (evil, witches, old man), 1 religious exclamation (If God Wills). | profanity glossary |


 - A bottle of unknown liquid medicine is seen on a bedside table. Five women at a dinner table have bottles of beer and three of the women drink from them, a dozen or more women drink wine at a long table in a café, tables of two people each show glasses of wine and men and women drinking from them in a cafe, and a woman says that she had too much wine the night before. A man smokes a pipe in a home and an office and we see a row of several pipes on a desk, two men smoke cigarettes in a bar and a police station, a few women smoke cigarettes on a dance floor as well as in a theater dressing room and in an office and in a café and on a balcony, and women smoke at their homes at dinner tables.


 - Cold War Germany, East and West Berlin, Aryan ID papers, terrorism, power, witchcraft, cult of motherhood, danger, hypnotic trances, hallucinations, serial murder, torture, dancing as a profession, mentoring, guilt, envy, jealousy, witches' Sabbath, psychiatry.

Suspiria MESSAGE

 - Cold War Germany contained elements that could cause mental illness and possibly create a cover for witchcraft.


Be aware that while we do our best to avoid spoilers it is impossible to disguise all details and some may reveal crucial plot elements.

We've gone through several editorial changes since we started covering films in 1992 and older reviews are not as complete & accurate as recent ones; we plan to revisit and correct older reviews as resources and time permits.

Our ratings and reviews are based on the theatrically-released versions of films; on video there are often Unrated, Special, Director's Cut or Extended versions, (usually accurately labelled but sometimes mislabeled) released that contain additional content, which we did not review.

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