9 user 8 critic
18-year old Valerie and her mother Trudy live together in rural Oostdijk, a quiet little village near Amsterdam. When Trudy comes home one night, she gets run over by a car. Dead. The ... See full summary »


Vivian Pieters
1 win & 2 nominations. See more awards »




Cast overview, first billed only:
Maayke Bouten Maayke Bouten ... Valerie Jaspers
Erik de Vries Erik de Vries ... Paul
Johan Leysen ... Mellema
Marlous Fluitsma Marlous Fluitsma ... Ria de Jong
Wim Bary Wim Bary ... Van Maurik
Rijk de Gooyer ... Bob Jaspers (as Rijk de Gooijer)
Yoka Berretty Yoka Berretty ... Trudy Jaspers
Joop Doderer Joop Doderer ... Wim Gerritsen
Lettie Oosthoek Lettie Oosthoek ... Mevrouw Gerritsen
Cas Baas Cas Baas ... Kapelaan
Alexandra Blaauw Alexandra Blaauw ... Saskia
Bettina Loose Bettina Loose ... Gertie
Sonja Lijnes Sonja Lijnes ... Evelien
Diana de Koning Diana de Koning ... Verpleegster
Marijke Copper Marijke Copper ... Verpleegster


18-year old Valerie and her mother Trudy live together in rural Oostdijk, a quiet little village near Amsterdam. When Trudy comes home one night, she gets run over by a car. Dead. The autopsy reveals she has never bore a child. Soon after more strange facts are beginning to turn up. While police inspector Mellema hunts down the car driver, Valerie starts searching for her real parents, both leading to the same sad truth. Written by Swie Tio <sweet_t@dds.nl>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


They Murdered the Woman She Thought Was Her Mother -- And Now They're After Her -- But Why?


Mystery | Thriller


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Did You Know?


Director Vivian Pieters and editor Ton Ruys, who also co-authored the screenplay adaption, are wife and husband. See more »

User Reviews

Maayke makes it just about bearable.
12 May 2016 | by BA_HarrisonSee all my reviews

At the centre of this mid-'80s Dutch murder mystery is a rather attractive girl, teenager Valerie Jaspers, played by Maayke Bouten, who looks like a cross between actresses Jennifer Connelly and Brooke Shields (as eye-candy goes, that's a pretty good combination). After Valerie's mother is flattened by a hit and run driver, an autopsy reveals that the woman Valerie had called mum for seventeen years had never actually given birth. Valerie decides to do a little amateur investigative work into her origins but finds herself the next target of her mother's killer.

This being a Dutch film, Valerie takes off her clothes quite a bit, to make love to her boyfriend, take a bath, or just for the heck of it, all of which makes the film just about bearable despite an instantly forgettable plot and very little in the way of tension or scares. Death in the Shadows also features one of the weirdest musical scores to be heard on film—strange accordion playing, random whistling, and repetitive percussion; at times it has a quirky charm, but most of the time it is bloody irritating.

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Release Date:

7 February 1985 (Netherlands) See more »

Also Known As:

Death in the Shadows See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Frans Rasker Film See more »
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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Color (Fujicolor)
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