The Vanishing (Spoorloos, 1988) is a psychological horror film with its greatest strength the sick "bond" that develops between the psychopath (Bernard-Pierre Donnadieu) & the man (Gene Bervoets) who seemingly volunteers to relive whatever it was that took his girlfriend (Johanna ter Steege) from him so quickly & mysteriously.
The final, sustained horror is what will always stick in mind, but the majority of its power is the result of the viewer having been immersed in the sicko relationship of the two men, something that was not reduplicated by the casting of the English language remake.
The Dutch version remains by far the preferred film & anyone with time for only one of them should see the original.
Without one whit of violence in the slasher film sense, this madman out-psychos the grizzliest axe, knife, or chainsaw killer.
The mystery runs so deep, & is so gruesome to ponder even days or years after seeing it, that a better suspense film would be nigh on impossible to find.
The Dutch original was very haunting & horrific, one of those "secret" gems I could recommend to fellow horror fans, who were never disappointed.
It's hard to believe the same director did the Englished remake, The Vanishing (1993), which has only a fraction of the original's impact, due I think to the casting which just didn't work as well.
Jeff Bridges is the psycho; Sandra Bullock is the vanished woman; & Keifer Sullivan is the boyfriend on a years-long quest to discover by experience whatever his beloved experienced. These are nice actors, yet what seemed profoundly eerie & horrifying in the first version seems only the most minor of thrillers in English, with much too small a story to tell.
copyright © by Paghat the Ratgirl