If You're Confused About the Ending of Suspiria, Allow Us to Break It Down For You

Warning: this post contains ALL the biggest spoilers for Suspiria.

Now that you’ve witnessed the madness that is Suspiria, a few things are likely to be true. You’re probably wondering whether Tilda Swinton plays that old man (she does), whether or not you’ll be able to sleep tonight (you won’t), and what the hell even happened in those final wild 30 minutes (so much). Yes, it’s quite obvious that the stunning reimagining pulls off a pretty epic twist — it’s quite different from the original ending — but this version also manages to deepen the film’s mythology and bring the entire narrative full circle. If you’re still scratching your head, worry not. I’m going to break down all the most important takeaways.

As a quick overview of the plot, we follow the confident Susie Bannion (Dakota Johnson) as she rapidly rises through the ranks at a Berlin dance academy. The academy is run by a coven of witches; Madame Blanc (Tilda Swinton) is the director of the academy, but the mysterious Mother Markos (also Swinton) is the one at the top of the food chain. In this world, there are three mythical mothers, ancient witches who have wandered the earth for centuries. They are Mater Tenebrarum (Our Lady of Darkness), Mater Lachrymarum (Our Lady of Tears), and Mater Suspiriorum (Our Lady of Sighs). Markos has claimed to be Suspiriorum, though there are some in the academy who are dubious, Blanc included.

At the beginning of the film, Blanc is vying to become the new leader of the dance academy. Each member of the coven casts their vote to keep Markos or shift the power to Blanc. After the vote is cast, Markos narrowly wins, thus keeping her grasp on the coven. And since she’s so old and close to death, the rest of the witches must find a new vessel for her to possess and overtake. Enter Susie, who sweeps through the academy with bewitching talent and vibrato. It’s clear she’ll be the perfect vessel for Markos.

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