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The Vanishing
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Reviews & Ratings for
The Vanishing More at IMDbPro »

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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Both versions have 'grave' faults

Author: aish_dr from Australia
17 February 2012

1. No psychopathic killer ever contacts the family of a victim to volunteer insights into "how I did it". Ever heard of the Beaumont children?

2. What would you do if - after your wife (or child) disappeared - a man turned up to say "You have a chance to experience what she experienced"? Would your response be: "Look man - she is dead anyway - why don't you make sure you kill me exactly the same way." Or, to quote from Pulp Fiction: "I am going to get medieval on your ass.."

Both movies have dumb characters who lend a new meaning to the saying: "Curiosity killed the cat."

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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Trash Has a Name!

Author: nigel-hawkes from United Kingdom
30 December 2009

A Hollywood remake! A hideous object lesson to all students.

An almost perfect example of how a masterpiece has to be dumbed down to that mythical audience-the American lowest common denominator.

Unwittingly, it insults even that perceived audience.

A good example also of how a usually good actor (Jeff Bridges) wildly misjudges and delivers what the industry knows as a "dog".

But the greatest sadness to all this is that this horror (forgive the pun) is perpetrated by the original director! Why? What motivated him into committing this to film? One of the most bizarre and disappointing recent experiences.

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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Very poor remake

Author: luinr1 from Germany
2 July 2003

As most of Hollywood remakes of european movies, this one also can never reach the quality of the original Spoorlos movie. The stupid happy ending spoils everything. Well, I suppose that we should get used to it, because you can seldom find a movie, which hits the theaters without test screenings.

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2 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

I love the book, I hate the movie.

Author: jentlke_in_black from Belgium
24 June 2007

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

You could hardly even say this movie was written by Tim Krabbé, because the movie is only loosely inspired by the book, so it seems. The original title was "Het gouden ei" or "The golden egg". The reason why this wasn't literally translated is because all references to a golden egg quite have quite simply disappeared. And that was what made the book so great. That's one great minus.

Also, Jeff's character does not resemble the one in the book either. In the book he is desperate to know what happened to Diane, just because his ignorance is killing him. Not because he wants her to be still alive. He's not in love with Denise either, sure he likes her, but not as much as is displayed in the movie. In the book, Denise has a minor part. Another minus.

Also, the movie represents the killer as some sick psycho. OK, in the book you can't really say he's normal either, but the movie really takes his character over the line.

Then, the thing I hated most. The last twenty minutes of the movie quite simply do not exist in the book. It ends with Jeff waking up inside a coffin, praying he will die soon and glad he knows what exactly happened to Diane. So, Denise will never know what happened to him, the murderer does not end up getting killed and Jeff most certainly doesn't survive. In short, there is no typical American happy ending.

The only thing I liked about this movie, was Jeff Bridges acting. He has an amazing way of presenting the murderer's way of thinking and acting. A great actor.

My advise for those who haven't seen the movie yet. If you have a choice, read the book rather than watching the movie. You won't get your sweet happy ending, but you won't feel as empty.

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2 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Not so Thrilling Thriller

Author: George Mirams from United Kingdom
2 August 2005

I Have to say I have never seen the original Dutch "The Vanishing" which seems to get much better reviews and is rated a lot higher than this. This US version is apparently gorier and has a happy ending (unlike the original) but I don't see why it should, both the films are directed by the same person, George Sluizer, who shouldn't have changed a winning formula.

Anyway for me this wasn't a very good film, it is classed as a thriller but their wasn't really anything thrilling about it. It was slow at the beginning and never really got going after that. It has some really good actors in it (The normally reliable Jeff Bridges, 24's Kiefer Sutherland) and that's why i picked it up to start with but they don't add anything much to the film (in fact Jeff Bridges character seems oddly over the top).

Watch the original instead

** out of *****

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2 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Close but no cigar!

Author: Mark Trutnau ( from Toronto, ON, Canada
7 October 2003

The Vanishing (1993) starts off as two different stories: Preparations for a kid- napping on Barney Cousin´s behalf (Bridges) and a road trip, in which Diane Shaver (Bullock) and Jeff Harriman (Sutherland) drive to Mt. St. Helens together. By coincidence they meet at a gas station and that is where the mess begins: Diane vanishes. Albeit the viewers confusion about what happened (this is not reveiled until the last third of the movie), one instantly assumes a connection to Barney´s evil preparations...yawn

Casting Bridges to play Barney was an interesting move, but does not support the character of the book very well. He is, simply spoken, boring in his portrayal of the ambiguos and psychotic chemistry professor. Fortunately, Bullock´s even lesser significant performance as Sutherland´s annoyingly bitchy girl-friend comes to a quick end and the audience can finally focus on the over-elaborate unfolding of the murder-revelation. Feel free to fast-forward.

The technique of hiding essential information from the audience in order to create suspense is not new. Since the story is based on the same book which inspired the 1988 original "Spoorloos" directed by George Sluizer, I would strongly recommend to watch that one instead. It´s equally predictable, but it IS the original and does not yield the common criticism of a giant Hollywood picture - it´s from a film political point of view much more enjoyable.

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2 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

still gives me the willies

Author: earthprime from Charlotte, NC
25 July 2001

Sorry to say that Sandra Bullock only had a few on-screen moments, but this is still a movie definitely worth watching. Unless you're a woman that lives alone. Bravo performance by Jeff Bridges. Still gives me the willies every time I think about it. I can hardly look at him on screen anymore without shivering.

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3 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

Watch it for Jeff Bridges!

Author: nama chakravorty from India
5 February 2012

A remake of a 1988 Franco-Dutch film, also directed by George Sluizer, 'The Vanishing' does deliver some thrills & an unbelievably menacing performance by Academy-Award-Winning Acting Legend, Jeff Bridges. One of THE Most Versatile Actors in History, Bridges proves his status yet again by playing a loathsome villain with such intensity.

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

'The Vanishing' is interesting in parts. The film begins well, it has moments that genuinely arrest. However, the last 20-25 minutes don't leave much of an impact. The finale, especially, needed to be stronger & far more superior. Todd Graff's Screenplay does work, but falls deeply in the last half-hour. George Sluizer's Direction is absorbing. Cinematography & Editing, are worth a mention.

Performance-Wise: Obviously, Bridges rules the show with an unbelievably menacing performance. The actor plays the loathsome villain with great intensity & unpredictability. It's a character that you love to hate, and Bridges makes him exactly that. This performance clearly proves what a Magical & Versatile Actor Bridges is. Kiefer Sutherland delivers a sincere performance. Nancy Travis fills the bill. Sandra Bullock does well in a cameo.

On the whole, 'The Vanishing' is a decent thriller. Watch it Bridges!

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3 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

It was a good one time watch movie.

Author: Aaron1375
22 February 2010

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This movie was rather interesting and I really wanted to see how it played out. However, it is not really a movie that I wish to see again as now that I know where the movie is going I just do not see the need to go there again. Granted, I read a review that talked about the Dutch film this one was based off of and I kind of want to see it now as from what I read it ends in a different way. This one is about a couple who are having a nice drive and one of them vanishes. The gal disappears after the two have a little spat, but the guy ends up feeling bad and after she is gone he is obsessed with finding her years after her disappearance took place. Well the kidnapper basically is keeping tabs on him and when he finds a new love and stops putting up the missing posters this guy seems somewhat upset about this and decides it is time to introduce himself to the man he left broken. The cast is great as Sutherland plays the man who lost his gal and is in very bad shape really well and Bridges plays the guy who is the cause of it very well. He just is a man who is very strange, it is hard to pinpoint his reasons for doing what he did even after he explains them. Sandra Bullock is okay in the brief time she is in the film and Rita Travis plays the woman who Sutherland's character starts a new romance with. Still, it just is a movie that you only have to see once.

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3 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

Don't waste your time.

Author: buchananvl from United States
4 August 2007

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This movie was so poorly acted. What was with Jeff Bridges accent, horrible and unbelievable. Was it supposed to be French, Scandinavian?The script was lame. To have the heroine trip over the grave of her boyfriend while running from the Jeff Bridges character...are you kidding me? How convenient that Jeff brings his dirty shovel in the house after he disposes of bodies in his lawn. Do these people just not believe in calling the cops? Okay...I'll get into the car with you, why not? DUH! Why was Bridge's daughter obsessed with making her dad have an affair, is her mother that evil or just plain dull? I did not see the original, it would be hard to make myself after seeing this movie.

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