The Vanishing (1993)

Director: George Sluizer

Writer: Todd Graff (Screenplay) Tim Krabbe (Novel)

Starring: Jeff Bridges, Kiefer Sutherland, Nancy Travis, Sandra Bullock, Park Overall, Maggie Linderman

 

Plot: The boyfriend of an abducted woman never gives up the search as the abductor looks on.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Disturbingly Good Horror

 

Story: The Vanishing starts as we meet everyday teacher, father and husband Barney Cousins (Bridges) who has been researching kidnapping, measuring his heart rate when it comes to the interaction while also searching for a method to drug his victims.

We move onto meet young couple Jeff (Sutherland) and Diane (Bullock) who are travelling cross country for their vacation, but when Diane vanishes at a gas station, Jeff is left powerless for options with the police offering no support until she has been missing 24 hours.

3 years later Diane is still missing and Jeff is still searching for answers. Jeff ends up giving up on his search when he meets Rita (Travis) a woman who gives him a new outlook on life but when he goes to get his book publicised he is asked to write a book about the disappearance of Diane. This opens up old wounds that will test his new relationship.

The game changes when Barney confronts Jeff offering him the answers but only if he joins him on the journey that Diane also went on.

 

Thoughts on The Vanishing

 

Characters/PerformanceBarney comes of calm, calculated and is willing to experiment when it comes to his technique. He is a loving father, husband and science teacher but deep down he is one of the great psychopaths you could imagine on film. He even has the guts to face his victim’s boyfriend to offer the answers he is looking for. Jeff is a good boyfriend but once Diane goes missing he becomes a desperate man with nothing to lose just needing to know the answers to what happened to her, he doesn’t care if she had just left him but he is being destroyed by the unknown. Rita is the new love interest for Jeff but doesn’t understand how his need for answers could come between them even if he loves her. Diane is the victim that we only see her disappearance and flashbacks.

Jeff Bridges shines in this role as a psycho you couldn’t pick out on the street corner and this could easily be one of his most underrated roles. Kiefer continued to show he was going onto bigger and better things in this role with Nancy Travis and Sandra Bullock both showing their skills through the film.

StoryThe story which could be a run of the mill killer turns into a film surrounded in uncertainty as our hero deals with the loss of a loved one in what can only be one of the most disturbing ways possible. We have a killer that isn’t serial but interested in just how far he can go. I do know this is a remake but in the end this works on the levels required for the story being told.

Horror/Mystery/ThrillerHorror, well once you see what Barney does to Diane you will reach the horror levels you need to see, the mystery is what Jeff must suffer through just not knowing what happened with the thrilling side of this film being us working out what will happen next.

SettingsThe settings show us just how easy it could have been for a serial killer to get away with his victims, while this only focuses on one killing the idea shows how it could have been going on for years.

Final ThoughtsThis must go down as one of the more disturbing horror films out there which can be enjoyed by all the fans of the genre.

 

Overall: I must say this is a must watch for all the horror fans out there.

Rating

 

 

Rose Red (2002) Mini Series

logoDirector: Craig R Baxley

Writer: Stephen King (Screenplay)

Starring: Nancy Travis, Matt Keeslar, Kimberly j. Brown, David Dukes, Judith Ivey, Melanie Lynskey, Matt Ross, Julian Sands, Kevin Tighe, Julia Campbell, Emily Deschanel

 

Plot: Rose Red is one of the most haunted mysterious houses in America, with people disappearing and dying mysteriously for a century. Professor Joyce Reardon (Travis) wants to prove the existence of the paranormal. Along with the last remaining family member Steve Rimbauer (Keeslar) she arrange for a team of different type of psychic to investigate. Her team includes Cathy (Ivey), Emery (Ross), Nick (Sands), Victor (Tighe), Pam (Deschanel) and an autistic girl Annie (Brown) and her non-psychic sister Rachel (Lynskey). Spending the weekend in the house how will they cope with all the haunting going on and how many secrets does the house hold?

 

Verdict: King delivers another wonderfully creepy story

Story: Not many people can create a large cast and develop the characters so well, King knows how to do this and this proves it again. With plenty of mystery involved and secrets from the house and the characters we get a genuine creepy story. (9/10)

 

Actor Review: Nancy Travis – Joyce her obsession with Rose Red will push her to professional limits and personally limits. It is a good performance from Nancy showing how an obsession can take over you goals. (9/10)

 joyce

Actor Review: Matt Keeslar – Steve the last remaining family member of the house who has also experienced the houses power as a child. Good performance as one of the voices of reason who seemingly doesn’t suffer from the hauntings compared to the rest. (8/10)

steve

Actor Review: Kimberly J. Brown – Annie the autistic girl with the strongest powers of all the psychics. Good performance from the young actress who is important to the story. (8/10)

 annie

Actor Review: Melanie Lynskey – Rachel one of the non-psychics who also doesn’t seem to suffer from the hauntings but is only there to protect her sister. Good performances with a calm protective domineer. (8/10)

 

Actor Review: Julian Sands – Nick a mind reader who is the one of the nicest characters involved always knowing more than the rest but unwilling to share to protect the rest. The star of the show here, dominating the screen every time he is on it. Star Performance Award, Scene Stealer Award, Favourite Character Award (9/10)

 sands

Actor Review: Matt Ross – Emery a very unlikeable character who only cares about himself but has a power to make the spirits disappear. Great performance to create such an unlikeable but important character. (9/10)

 emery

Actor Review: Judith Ivey – Cathy she believes that god will protect her against anything in the house and with her power she also is an important to the final showdown. Good performance to show a good character that has to deal with all the anti-good in the house. (8/10)

Director Review: Craig R Baxley – Great direction to turn this great story into such an interesting visual experience. (9/10)

 

Horror: Great build for horror that doesn’t scare you silly but offers enough jumps to keep you on the edge of your seat. (8/10)

Thriller: it may be four hours long but you just want to keep watching to see what will happen next. (9/10)

Special Effects: Some great special effects but some poor or dated effects. (7/10)

Believability: Many people believe at haunted house but this goes to the extremes. (5/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Settings: Rose Red is an excellent setting for the film showing that isolation even in the middle of a big city can create extra scares. (10/10)

house

Suggestion: Stephen King fans have to watch this most horror fans have to watch this but just don’t expect gore. This is a great series that people will enjoy watching. (Watch)

 

Best Part: Cathy gets lost in the house.

Worst Part: It could be too long for some.

Oscar Chances: No but got nominated for Prime Time Emmy.

Chances of Sequel: No

 

Overall: Great miniseries that has plenty of scares.

Rating 85