Wednesday, 14 May 2014

Don’t Look Now (1973) 70's Marathon 19#

Directed by: Nicolas Roeg 
110 Minutes
Horror, Thriller

After reading people’s reviews and thoughts on this film, I was enthused about watching it and was expecting to see something truly chilling and tense. I must say I am a little underwhelmed, but Don’t Look Now is not a bad film. Nicolas Roeg’s editing is experimental, and the story unfolds in a unique fashion. His film has a distinct atmosphere similar to what he done with The Man Who Fell to Earth, but I found the film to be a little boring rather than chilling at times.

After a tragic incident with their daughter, Laura and John Baxter take a trip to Italy, and encounter strange sightings. It is when they meet two Old Italian women that claim her daughter is alive that some things are too good to be true. 

Indeed Don’t Look Now has a real streak of originality, not in its content but in its presentation and narrative. It is patient, slow moving and enigmatic. There are details everywhere that would take multiple viewings to take in: and that I think is what makes the film chilling. Characters such as the ones in the church seem unexplained and eerie, adding a real mystery to their presence. Incidents like Sutherland almost falling to his death also give a real offbeat fright.

When we come to the middle of the film, things begin to get supernatural when the Baxter’s relationship with a blind woman who can communicate with the dead begins to develop. There are some moments that are meant to be frightening, but I found myself kind of laughing at it, such as the scene when the blind woman is shouting “fetch him back!”

Overall, the film has some chilling scenes and moments, but all together for me I found it uninteresting and un-suspenseful. It just did not engage with me as other horror films of the 70’s have. Nevertheless, the unsettling atmosphere and characters and experimental editing make it quite special supernatural experience that would surely get richer in repeat viewing. 




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