31 Days Of Thrilling Horror: The Vanishing

Many years ago when I still rented movies, I decided to rent George Sluizer’s 1988 Danish thriller The Vanishing (Spoorloos). This was still in the days of the VHS. Siskel & Ebert had strongly recommended the movie and I thought that I’d give it a try. The clerk at the store informed me that the movie was subtitled and was I sure that I wanted to rent it? Yes was my reply. Are you sure? It’s subtitled. Yes. Are you really sure? It’s SUBTITLED. Just rent me the damn movie.

I can understand that people don’t like to read a movie but after you’ve watched enough movies that way – you really don’t notice it or at least I don’t anymore. And the alternative is to destroy the integrity of the movie with piss poor dubbing. Or wait until a really lame American remake comes that is made by the same director.

Regardless the movie is a masterpiece of suspense. A Dutch couple are traveling through France. When Gene Bervoets and Johanna ter Steege stop at a gas station, Johanna ter Steege goes to get some drinks and never returns. Gene Bervoets spends the next three years trying to find out what happened to her. Then serial killer Bernard-Pierre Donnadieu appears. What happens next is intense.

Director George Sluizer remade the movie in 1993 with Jeff Bridges, Kiefer Sutherland, Sandra Bullock and Nancy Travis but he changed the ending, destroying everything that made the original awesome. The original is a haunting and intense experience that will stick with you for some time after you see it. Unfortunately the trailer is not as awesome as the movie.

Author: Shane Hnetka

Shane Hnetka has spent most of his life watching movies and reading comic books. He has decided to use this vast knowledge for evil instead of good.