Based on Time Krabbe's The Golden Egg, The Vanishing is a deeply disturbing psychological thriller about a young man's search for his girlfriend after she disappears at a rest stop during a short trip. Over the course of three years, the man obsessively searches for her, using his spare time to put up posters and leave handbills, hoping that someone will give him a clue to the mystery surrounding her disappearance. The kidnapper, having watched the man for some time, is intrigued by his increasing obsession and finally contacts him. He then gives the man the opportunity to learn firsthand of his girlfriend's fate. The film, frightening and moving with a chilling conclusion, is a small masterpiece as director George Sluizer confronts and examines the true nature of evil and obsession. Sluizer remade The Vanishing in an American version four years after the release of the original Dutch film, inexplicably changing the shocking ending which gave the original film such power.~Linda Rasmussen
I have never read the book this was based on but the film has to have done it justice. This is one of the best suspense thrillers I have ever seen. It has this surreal kind of creepiness that can seep into your whole being as you watch this film. I love atmospheric creepiness that can unnerve you and this film has that.
Johanna ter Steege won a European Film award for best supporting actress despite only actual having 11 minutes of screen time. That is in incredible! That is a microcosm of quality of performances in this movie. The acting, direction, and everything about this movie makes it a must own!
The PQ and AQ are both reference quality, which is the case with The Criterion Collection anytime the source material at all allows it. If they can clean up a source they clean it up as much as humanly possible and this transfer is masterful. Unusually for Criterion the extras are not large in quantity here but still some very interesting stuff.
***The previous reviewer states that you see the perspective of the bad guy. The way it's stated it could be misunderstood. This movie shows BOTH perspectives of the good guy AND the bad guy, which as the previous viewer said IS very unique. I just wanted to make sure everyone knows that this film shows a parallel tract throughout the movie.
This movie was a great watch. It takes a different perspective by showing you the bad guy's view of things instead of the good guy's. Through this, one can find a new way of thinking about what truely is suspense. The movie keeps you waiting for the climax, and when it happens, its amazing. I would recommend this to anyone who is into finding different turns on genre films. Much better than the American remake.
This review is from The Vanishing [Special Edition] [Criterion Collection] [DVD]