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The Vanishing [VHS] (1991)

Bernard-Pierre Donnadieu , Gene Bervoets , George Sluizer  |  Unrated |  VHS Tape
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (113 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Bernard-Pierre Donnadieu, Gene Bervoets, Johanna ter Steege, Gwen Eckhaus, Bernadette Le Saché
  • Directors: George Sluizer
  • Writers: George Sluizer, Tim Krabbé
  • Producers: George Sluizer, Anne Lordon
  • Format: Color, NTSC
  • Language: Dutch, English, French
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Number of tapes: 1
  • Studio: Fox Lorber
  • VHS Release Date: November 11, 1997
  • Run Time: 107 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (113 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 6302272548
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #546,451 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Editorial Reviews


When a young Dutchman discovers that his girlfriend has gone missing during their return to Holland from a bicycling trip in France, he begins a three-year search that forms the basis of this unsettling psychological thriller from 1988, originally titled Spoorloos. The missing woman's whereabouts remain a mystery, but the film provides an early introduction to her abductor, a seemingly normal family man whose domestic tranquility hides a meticulous, methodical madness. As the despondent husband advertises all over France and Holland for his missing wife, this game of cat-and-mouse escalates into a strategy of psychological horror, revealing certain facts and merely suggesting others to create an intense atmosphere of dread and anticipation. A film that Alfred Hitchcock would certainly have admired, The Vanishing leads to an unforgettable conclusion that's sure to send chills down your spine. Ironically, this film's director, George Sluizer, also made the inferior 1993 American remake starring Kiefer Sutherland and Jeff Bridges. --Jeff Shannon

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
103 of 110 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Horror Film In Every Sense Of The Word June 3, 2001
A disturbing movie that will take you into realms usually reserved for Poe and Lovecraft, "The Vanishing," directed by George Sluizer, is a dark tale that takes you into the twisted mind of a man named Raymond Lemorne (Bernard-Pierre Donnadieu), with implications that are truly frightening. While on vacation, a young couple, Rex Hofman (Gene Bervoets) and Saskia Wagter (Johanna ter Steege), stop at a crowded rest area. While he fills the car with gas, she goes into the store for some drinks. And she never comes back. And, lest the scenario seem too improbable or implausible, Sluizer proceeds to take you back through the days preceding the mysterious disappearance; and once you meet Raymond, you begin to understand what happened, and how. And when you finally know, it's as terrifying as anything you could possibly imagine.
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.
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39 of 42 people found the following review helpful
Perhaps I would have been better off if I had never seen this film. I don't usually watch horror films. I was scared out of my wits by "Psycho" when it came out in theater's (it's hard for younger people who grew up with Freddie Kruger to imagine it, but there was a time when you didn't see blood all over the screen.) This film does't show any blood and I don't remember much violence, however, it's a psychologically terrifying movie like "Diabolique" so if you have a weak heart don't watch it.
"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."
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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Magnificient Obsession June 29, 2008
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
In a perfect world, a viewer planning on seeing this film for the first time would not be aware of its by-now famous ending. It is a testament to everyone involved in the making of this movie, that knowing the ending does not spoil, in the least, that first viewing experience. Truly, this is one film in which the 100 minute buildup is as satisfying and quietly thrilling as the utterly horrifying ending, itself.

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.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars intelligent film. But I do think there are much ...
Don't get into cars with strangers...

Well done, intelligent film.
But I do think there are much creepier movies about killers...
Published 1 month ago by T. M. Matich
3.0 out of 5 stars scary (spoilers)...
not the best horror movie I've ever seen, but quite effective. the villain looks so innocuous and when you see what he puts his victims through - horrific. 3 and 1/2 stars.
Published 4 months ago by Stacy Hackney (formerly customerS)
4.0 out of 5 stars Spooloos
Thought it was a very interesting and well made movie. The actors were believable and the story line was well planned.
Published 4 months ago by J. Sousa
3.0 out of 5 stars Pretty Good-Watch Them Both !!!
This version was as riveting as the Jeff Bridges remake,minus Kiefers annoying,nagging girlfriend..lol. Read more
Published 8 months ago by Tim
4.0 out of 5 stars Fine film, but the audio is very faint...
The issue of this picture by Image Entertainment is virtually unwatchable because of the audio. It is so faint. Read more
Published 8 months ago by Fitzherbert Farnsworth
1.0 out of 5 stars Crappy
I truly had to go back on line to ensure I had rented the same movie that everyone gave such rave reviews to! Read more
Published 10 months ago by 3anchors
2.0 out of 5 stars Vague and kind of boring film.
Either I have seen too many movies (including French ones)or this one is not worth watching at all.

The propensity of French cinema of making 99. Read more
Published 11 months ago by A. Fernandez
5.0 out of 5 stars Not just a scary movie -- it's genuinely frightening
A master class in intelligently crafted, emotionally harrowing suspense. Tim Krabbe's underlying novel (originally titled The Golden Egg) is okay, but the film version shows George... Read more
Published 13 months ago by Steve
5.0 out of 5 stars Great film.
This is a "must see" for those that like dark thrillers. The Vanishing speaks to how individuals can't ever really abandon hope. It is part of us.
Published 14 months ago by Melanie
5.0 out of 5 stars Great psychological horror
This is easily one of the best horror movies I've ever seen. It is incredibly suspenseful and very well written. Read more
Published 14 months ago by Brett Wilson
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