Lawrence O'Toole
August 13, 1993 AT 04:00 AM EDT

The Vanishing

type
Movie
Current Status
In Season
mpaa
Unrated
runtime
107 minutes
performer
Bernard-Pierre Donnadieu, Gene Bervoets, Johanna Ter Steege
director
George Sluizer
distributor
Fox Lorber Home Video
genre
Drama, Historical, Mystery and Thriller, Foreign Language

We gave it an A

Director George Sluizer’s original film was a brilliantly unsettling mood piece about a guilt-ridden man (Bervoets) who becomes obsessed with discovering how his girlfriend mysteriously disappeared from a rest stop. The Vanishing evokes panic and dread in a way few films have and draws the viewer into the repellently fascinating mind of the playful villain (Donnadieu). Four years later, Sluizer remade his own film for Hollywood. Although it features an off-beat performance by Bridges as the meticulous kidnapper, the result is an emasculation of the original. Not only has the role of the new girlfriend (Nancy Travis) been beefed up and Americanized, but the horrifying ending has been changed as well. For shame. Rent the first. A

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