All the films from all the editions, including those subsequently removed, presently totalling 1167. An easy way of seeing how…
Who Has Seen This Woman?
A young man begins an obsessive search for his girlfriend after she mysteriously disappears during their sunny vacation getaway. His three-year investigation draws the attention of her abductor, a seemingly mild-mannered professor who, in truth, harbors a diabolically clinical and calculating mind. When the kidnapper contacts the man and promises to reveal his lover’s fate, The Vanishing unfolds with intense precision, culminating in a genuinely chilling finale that has unnerved audiences around the world.
With an ingenious plot structure and a black heart that seems to revel in breaking the audience's own, The Vanishing is a bleak thriller that might not have the technical bravado of Nicolas Roeg's Don't Look Now, but feels very similar in effect. A devastating loss, a study of grief and obsession, and an ending that is simply cruel, but feels just right. Adapted from Tim Krabbé's novella, The Golden Egg, it's a great example of the benefit of keeping the author on to co-write the screenplay. The pacing and structure work together to keep the plot barreling ahead (something other psych-thrillers occasionally stumble on by concerning too much runtime to developing the mood explicitly instead of letting the story…
Dutch brilliance. What one man is willing to do to uncover the truth of a missing loved one. What one man did that will send shivers up your spine. Thrilling. Edgy. Creepy. No Hollywood ending, but pure satisfaction after viewing.
Wow, I forgot just how unsettling this movie truly is.
Raymond Lemorne has to be one of the most frightening, brilliant, insane villains in movie history. Hannibal Lecter's got nothing on this guy. And the way the audience finds out his goals and methods and strategy - without resorting to exposition - is simply masterful.
So much has been said about the climax of this film, so I will say no more and let you experience it for yourself. You will not forget it.
Beer: Samuel Adams Blackberry Witbier - 3.5/5 (an oldie but goodie!)
Included In Lists:
Criterion Collection - #133
Review In A Nutshell:
The Vanishing is the story of a woman who suddenly disappeared and her friend, after 3 years of searching, starts to receive postcards from a mysterious person.
I found the plot of the film to be potentially intriguing, sadly it failed to keep me interested due to its unfocused characters and the lack of tension during the bulk of the film's first hour. To clarify, the setting up of the film's complication was certainly interesting and it did help set up the film's suspense and mystery which would then benefit the latter half of the film. The issue is found during the film's second act, going back and forth…
This is a story of two men. On one hand, the pain and suffering of one consumed by his grief and on the other, the fulfilment of a dark fantasy by a man who creates the perfect plan. Strangely for a thriller, there is little to no mystery over how or even why the events take place and that makes for an even more involved and powerful story.
Rex and Saskia are a young couple in love, driving their way across Europe into France. They are happy and playful, wrapped in each others space as they encompass the vast expanse of countryside heading toward their destination. She warns him about their low petrol gauge but being the typical know-it-all guy…
You start with an idea in your head, and you take a step...
I saw the remake of this film once, 20 years ago, and to be honest I had no idea it was a remake at the time. Only learned years later of the original's existence when I saw it was part of the Criterion Collection and eventually finding out it was in fact not the one I had already seen. Since the remake didn't leave much of an impression on me (I didn't even remember Sandra Bullock was in it) my interest in seeing the original film wasn't exactly sparked.
Strong, bitter ending. But the film is centered on an banal sociopath played without any hint of charisma. And our hero isn't particularly convincing either, though he certainly spends a lot of time raving and looking around suspiciously. You don't learn the heroine's fate until the final moments, but the my interest was purely academic by that point.
A couple are driving on their vacation and stop at a gas station. The woman is kidnapped. Many years later the guy is still obsessed with the whole ordeal, even doing news interviews. He is contacted by the kidnapper who gives him the option of finding out what happened.
Good film, a little slow at times. Viewers will find a developing deep hatred towards the kidnapper.
I read the book of this years ago and since then it's always popped into my mind when I've stopped off at the services on a motorway with my wife.
The film doesn't do my memory of the book justice as it has quite a comedic tone. I imagined that it was going to be very bleak with grey mist wreathed landscapes and a grim tone that leads to an inevitable climax. But no, it feels worryingly light and fluffy at times.
It quite a few similarities with The Wicker Man but the soundtrack is not a patch on that classic film.
All in all, I think I'll stick with my memory of the book.
Terrific French/Dutch thriller which has the courage of its own convictions by delivering a perfect eerie end. But 'surprise surprise' they messed up the Hollywood remake in 1993
A slow burn horror/thriller that takes a daring approach to storytelling but which totally pays off. Director George Sluzier never makes the situation a mystery to the audience, we know the “who” just not the “what”. Of course our sympathies lie with the boyfriend who agonizes over the loss of his love but really it’s the lack of answers that is most troubling to him. Sluzier spends almost as much time with the abductor as with Rex, making us privy to the circumstances without telling us precisely what to expect… until the gut-punch reveal at the end. Psychological horror done masterfully.
I kind of resent how perfectly this comes together, but that’s the point now innit? Truth is, once it flashed back to young Raymond’s balcony experiment, I could tell this film was wading into philosophical territory I am personally fascinated by, viz. Who or what drives our impulses? and Is strength a choice? These are abstract questions, and pursuing their answers, and living by them, is tantamount to insanity. The ending terrifies because it’s a rigorous logical outcome of the set-up prior, violence purged of doubt and governed by watertight theory.
It’s odd that a film can be so ingeniously predictable. Really, the basic premise and setup here is more akin to that of B movie thrillers, but somehow director George Sluizer skirts around clichéd disaster. I’d call it a film of ordinary excellence.
The title essentially gives much of the narrative away, but in doing so provides just enough of a taste to build curiosity. Much of what makes most crime/murder/mystery/procedurals boring is that the audience knows more than the characters, while we just sit around wating for them to find out what we already knew. And maybe what The Vanishing has to offer isn’t too remarkable now, but a lot of what could be fixed in more modern day…
This review reportedly contains spoilers. I can handle the truth.
Serial killing for dummies.
- A Trip to the Moon
- The Great Train Robbery
- The Birth of a Nation
- Les Vampires
- Only God Forgives
- Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas
- Spring Breakers
- A Field in England
Recently, I've become aware that certain films are able to transcend the medium by being completely self-assured in their atmospheres…
- Donnie Darko
- Morvern Callar
- Irma Vep
- Miami Blues
- Babe: Pig in the City
For five years, film critic Scott Tobias compiled "The New Cult Canon" in a regular column for The A.V. Club…