The Vanishing is simply one of the most frightening films ever made. A young woman (Johanna Ter Steege) vacationing in France with her boyfriend (Gene Bervoets) disappears at a gas station. For three years the guilt-ridden boyfriend is consumed with uncovering the mystery. Eventually the kidnapper (Bernard-Pierre Donnadieu), a friendly family man, claustrophobe, and sociopath, makes contact with him. Will curiosity kill this particular cat?

Director George Sluizer invites the viewer into the kidnapper’s repellent, playful mind, and the film, which toys with fractured narrative forms, is as meticulously crafted as the kidnapper’s abduction plans. The Vanishing is brilliant at evoking panic; dread hangs over nearly every scene. The great advantage for video viewers is they don’t have to leave the house that night, though they will have to sleep. A

The Vanishing
  • Movie
  • 107 minutes