Volk horror and the revival of history in Suspiria

Catherine Belling*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The classification of films as folk horror runs into the usual problem (and fascination) of genre taxonomy, the fuzzy set, where many texts meet some criteria and hardly any fit completely. This article suggests that thinking about Dario Argento’s 1977 Suspiria and the 2018 version, directed by Luca Guadagnino, might, even though both films may seem to lack key folk horror elements, provide insight into deeper spatial-temporal structures that animate the subgenre. The 2018 Suspiria is less a remake of Argento’s original than an excavation of its historical and geographical subtexts. The central dance work in Guadagnino’s film, named Volk, activates changing connotations of the word ‘folk’, opening up both films to a reading in which Guadagnino’s reconstitution of Argento’s film recapitulates folk horror’s central dynamic, the horrifying yet desired revelation of a past that has been spatially present all along, waiting to be uncovered.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)219-231
Number of pages13
JournalHorror Studies
Volume14
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 2023

Keywords

  • Adaptation
  • dance
  • folk horror
  • geography
  • history
  • Suspiria

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Visual Arts and Performing Arts
  • Music
  • Literature and Literary Theory

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