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The Vanishing (The Criterion Collection)
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Top Customer Reviews
On the surface, Raymond appears to be a rather "normal" individual; he's married, with two children, and teaches science. He and his wife, Simone (Bernadette Le Sache), have recently purchased a country home which they are gradually restoring, and spend some time there with their children whenever they can. But hidden beneath Raymond's reserved and respected exterior is a sociopath capable of actions so heinous it defies comprehension.
Leading up to the day of the vanishing, the film alternates between scenes of Rex and Saskia vacationing, and Raymond, as he methodically plans and calculates his cold-blooded crime. And it's chilling, watching him prepare and fine-tune each step so matter-of-factly, as if he were staking out a new garden or planning a picnic with the family. It's unsettling, watching Rex and Saskia going about their business, blissfully unaware of the terror that awaits them.Read more ›
"The Vanishing" has a fine cast and was shot somewhere in the Netherlands--I believe the cast is Dutch. Johanna ter Steage(?), the fine actress who played Theo's wife in "Vincent" and Frau Beethoven in "Immortal Beloved" plays a young woman who becomes the victim of a mentally unhinged stalker. The man's derangement is demonstated by his lifelong willingness to "experience" things like deliberately falling off a balcony so he can see what it feels like to break an arm.
Johanna's boyfriend cannot overcome the loss of his girlfriend. Her memory ruins opportunities to form a realationship with a new person. The crime drives the boyfriend to acquire the attributes of the man who 'stole' his girlfriend. First he becomes obsessed about establishing a link with a particular person, just as the stalker became obsessed about finding a woman he could kidnap. Second he stalks the kidnapper in a variety of ways, just as the kidnapper used a variety of ways to lure a woman into his car. Third, he says he is willing to 'experience' what the kidnapper demands so that he can discover what happened to his girlfriend. In the end, I was left "unhinged."
What a buildup it is. Alfred Hitchcock, who turned American Everyman James Stewart into a fascinating (and altogether believable) character study in obsession in Vertigo, his masterpiece, would have praised this film to the heavens. Like Vertigo, The Vanishing is a quiet, deliberate, slow moving affair, in which we first become gradually drawn into Rex's building guilt and torment over the whereabouts of his missing girlfriend, Saskia, who literally disappeared under his nose. During his 3 year quest to find her, we begin to learn more and more about the quiet professor who abducted Saskia. When the 2 men ultimately meet, Rex's first impulse is to kill the man who has turned his life upside down; but he can't, because he simply has to know exactly what this man did to Saskia - there's that "obsession" word again. Rex knows this man has killed his girlfriend, and, while fully aware he is sealing his own fate, as well, nonetheless agrees to the killer's terms at the film's conclusion: if you want to finally learn what happened to Saskia, the girl who vanished under your watch, you have to experience exactly what she did. And boy does he ever.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I really liked the American version with Kiefer Sutherland. I loved this one.Published 1 month ago by R. Morton
If you like scary movies its one thing but this movie takes the horrors that evil people do to each other and times it 1 million fold,lol! Read morePublished 4 months ago by george pierson
Be careful this is not the movie with Kieffer Sutherland and Sandra Bullock even though the advertisement shows a picture of two of the actresses from the American version of the... Read morePublished 7 months ago by Alexis Witt
Not at all what we expected, thought it was the version with Jeff Bridges. Don't be fooled into thinking it's that movie like we were.Published 7 months ago by Trisha McLain
This movie is supposed to be really good, and perhaps I had unfounded expectations going into it. That said, the movie obviously suffers for its age, and the pacing is just... Read morePublished 8 months ago by Ronald Butler
The one and only original. Don't bother with the remake. This is it.Published 11 months ago by Patty
I'm not a big fan of subtitle movies, but this one is an exception. Wonderfully written screenplay filled with a horror that is so unspeakable that none of us want this to happen... Read morePublished 12 months ago by pianoguy87
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