Warning: massive spoilers for the end of Suspiria below!
By the time the credits begin to roll in Luca Guadagnino’s Suspiria, you’ll probably feel the urge to race out of the theatre for a few reasons. The first? Because your bladder is likely about to burst (the movie is over two and a half hours, FYI). And the second? Well, the horror reboot is intense, to say the least.
But there’s a reason you should stick around until the bitter end, or at least force whoever you went to the movies with to do it for you: a brief, bizarre postcredits scene. To be fair, calling it a postcredits scene is, well, false advertising. It’s more of a postcredits shot, to be honest with you.
Within that shot is Dakota Johnson’s character, Susie Bannion, an American dancer who moves to Berlin in hopes of joining the elite dance academy run by Madame Blanc (Tilda Swinton). Not long after arriving, Susie begins to realise that the academy is not at all what it seems and is actually a front for a deeply powerful, evil coven of witches. But — twist! — Susie is also not what she seems and is eventually revealed to be one of the three all-powerful “Mothers” (Mother Suspiriorum) that the coven worships. She takes over the coven of ageing witches by force, decapitating most of the group, save for a lucky few.
So, back to the postcredits scene — Susie, postmassacre and wearing a fierce hooded cloak, appears to be in one of the dance academy’s underground tunnels. She’s staring at something just off screen and reaches toward the upper right corner of the frame to touch it with one gloved hand. We never see what she’s interacting with, but it looks like she turns it back and forth, judging from the movement in her wrist. She glances around to make sure no one has seen what she’s done, then walks away.
That’s it! Seriously.
So, what does this short sequence mean? Guadagnino has already expressed his desire to make Suspiria a trilogy, and though his remake differs wildly from Dario Argento’s 1977 original, the scene with Johnson seems to hint at where future films might go while also paying homage to Argento’s movie.
In the original film, there’s a secret piece of molding in the academy that, when turned, opens a passage to the coven’s lair. Since Susie is actually Mother Suspiriorum all along, maybe she is using the secret passage to spy on the coven the whole time, which is how she outsmarts them in the end. Or it could simply be a nod to Argento! Either way, it’s a cool bit of symbolism that hints at the larger mythology at work within Suspiria.