Thom Yorke, “Suspiria”

Thom Yorke
Suspiria (Music for the Luca Guadagnino Film)
XL
8/10

When the original Suspiria first appeared on big screens, Thom Yorke was just eight years old—so it’s a good bet his mum didn’t drag him across Northamptonshire for a Sunday matinee. But he was certainly first in line for the much-buzzed-about remake by Call Me By Your Name director Luca Guadagnino, as the soundtrack features as Yorke’s first attempt at a full score.

The original Dario Argento–directed horror flick is a classic of the genre, and no genre requires visceral soundtracking quite like horror. (Goblin’s original 1977 score is an essential element to the movie’s enduring appeal.) For his part, Yorke’s score is a resounding success—though that’s not a surprise, given Radiohead’s track record.

Suspiria opens with “A Storm That Took Everything,” and you can feel the heart-pounding anxiety beginning to swirl, only to be followed by a deliberate, minimalist piano intro of “The Hooks,” each note sounding like the footstep of something unsettling creeping closer and closer.

The pinnacle of masterful soundtrack writing, certainly, is to listen apart from the film, and still be able to conjure imagery in its place. Thom Yorke’s Suspiria is that rarest of beasts: music for a cinematic work that can stand on its own. Just don’t be surprised if you find yourself looking over your shoulder for days after listening. 

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