What movie was that...?

14 March 2011

Don't Look Now

directed by Nicholas Roeg

If you have had the rare pleasure slash misfortune (depending on how you look at it. It’s all a matter of perspective.) of indulging in Nicholas Roeg’s highly atmospheric, highly ambitious, highly disturbing and highly amazing horror film, Don’t Look Know, then you (like me) already have certain images burned into your memory. For those brave souls interested in seeing this film, brave souls for whom this title doesn’t send chills down to their very bones, I will not give anything away to ruin your experience of this masterful and mysterious film that will stay with you forever. To call this film “horror” implies certain expectations, certain criteria that the average audience expects to be met, and the casual horror fan may not find this film fulfilling in the traditional sense, not in the Halloween, Nosferatu, Jaws, Invasion of the Body Snatchers sense. But to simply label this film as a mystery or a thriller would completely neglect the true horrors that do exist in this film, horrors that cling like winter chill. Don’t Look Now is horror on another level, just as Alien was horror and sci fi on another level, and the result is (again, depending on how you look at it) either immensely satisfying or heart palpitatingly disturbing. Donald Sutherland and Julie Christie are tremendous as the Baxters, coping with the loss of a child and living in Venice. A psychic encounter begins a grand unraveling that disorients and absorbs you until the final fragment of cosmic rug is finally pulled out from beneath you in frightening fashion. Cinematographer Anthony B. Richmond creates texture and layers everywhere, and if his name is familiar, that’s because he also photographed another of my favorite off the wall horror films, Ravenous. Nicholas Roeg is a fantastic filmmaker, from Walkabout to The Man Who Fell to Earth (a must see for any Bowie fan), and Don’t Look Now is, for me, his finest work. If I were you, I’d watch this one with the lights on.

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