Sunday, January 5, 2014

Spoorloos (The Vanishing) (1988)

Today's film is Spoorloos (The Vanishing).  This is the first Dutch film I have ever seen.  If this is the best they have to offer, then I am not going to watch any more Dutch films than I absolutely have to.  I usually enjoy psychological thrillers, mind games, and mysteries.  But not this film.  It's dull, overrated and very predictable.

The sociopathic killer, Raymond, does everything a typical sociopathic killer does in every film or tv show featuring them and there are no surprises.  He kills for a reason that makes sense to him, but needs recognition for it.  That's why he meets Rex and all but explains what he did.  The film is like a long dull episode of Criminal Minds or any other law show people watch.  I don't know, I don't own a tv but I have seen a few episodes and I would prefer one of their stories over this.

That's how I felt watching this.  The worst was all this nonsense about fate and destiny.  Raymond tells Rex that he jumped off his balcony and lost two fingers.  Well that's bullshit because he had all ten fingers the entire movie.  Both of them strive to change their destiny by cheating it.  Well that just means your destiny was to cheat! Did they ever think about that?  Raymond's explanation for doing what he did was bonkers.  I am still trying to figure out his reasoning.  His daughter thought of him as a hero for saving someone's life.  So, he has to perform the most evil deed he can think of.  But to him, killing is not the worst thing.  We figure out what his "worst thing" is when he gets pulled over and he reveals that he's claustrophobic.

He even makes Rex drink coffee laced with sleeping pills.  This is the same thing cult leaders like Marshall Applewhite and Jim Jones (the poisoned koolaid people) did to their victims.  There is nothing original about this character or film.  Also this film is very heavy handed on symbolism, especially the golden eggs, which are the dream, the coffins, the two pictures in the eggs at the end, everything.  I'm giving this film a 5/10.


  1. I didn't care for this film, either. The biggest thing for me is the main guy was so stupid he practically asked the bad guy to do the same thing to him, so when it happened I had no sympathy for him whatsoever.

    1. And he even says the only real way to know something is to experience you know he's going to kill him. That's crazy. I can't believe he actually agreed to do it. He deserves it then.

    2. So, a guy has a pathological curiosity so...he deserves to be tortured and killed?