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John and Laura Baxter are in Venice when they meet a pair of elderly sisters, one of whom claims to be psychic. She insists that she sees the spirit of the Baxters' daughter, who recently drowned. Laura is intrigued, but John resists the idea. He, however, seems to have his own psychic flashes, seeing their daughter walk the streets in her red cloak, as well as Laura and the sisters on a funeral gondola. Written by
James Meek <email@example.com>
In the bathroom scene, John Baxter steps over Laura's clothes, piled on the floor. Among them is a pair of tights, which she was clearly not wearing in the preceding scene (in which she undresses). See more »
Mysterious, brooding and bone chilling at the climax!
Don't Look Now is a strange horror film in that it doesn't rely on the usual horror genre staples in order to be successful. Rather than be gratuitous on the gore, atmosphere and shocks front, Don't Look Now simply presents it's story and the horror almost seems like an afterthought. Usually, films like this annoy me because they obviously want to portray the horror, but skirt around it in order to not be put in with the less intelligent offerings from the genre; but this one clearly cares about it's story and characters, and never really sets out to scare. The film, therefore, comes off as being assured and well handled throughout, and even though the plot is slow; the film can never be described as boring because there's always enough bubbling under the surface of the immediate goings on in order to keep the viewers' interest. The plot is shrouded with mystery and follows a father who finds his daughter drowned in a nearby lake. He and his wife then move to picturesque Venice, but the memory of their daughter cannot be laid to rest after a blind psychic tells the woman that she has seen her daughter may still be alive.
I love the horror genre, but I admit that a large proportion of it can't be compared among the true classics of cinema due largely to a lack of production values, good acting or a decent script that is coherent with the story and characters. Don't Look Now, however, often appears on film lists amongst the classics because this is one of the films that is strong in those areas. The acting is first rate, with Donald Sutherland and Julie Christie giving brilliant brooding performances that are in line with their characters and the film's plot. Sutherland can be something of a one-note actor, but when a performer is given the right material it allows them to shine and his role in this film fits him like a glove. One of the main compliments that this film gets is the cinematography, as the film expertly captures the beauty of it's central location. Venice's canals and dark alleys are as much a part of this film as the plot itself, and it is testament to Nicolas Roeg's directorial talent that this has been expertly captured in a way that helps the film. On the whole, this is a fine horror film that will be enjoyed by anyone that is willing to put time and effort into it. It's also worth noting that this film pays it's viewers at the climax with one of the best twist endings in the horror genre. Highly recommended!
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