September 22, 2008

Solo Review: Don't Look Now (1973)

Cast Members of Note- Donald Sutherland and Julie Christie.

When two parents let their little girl drown in a lake (because they're too busy with other stuff to be watching her properly), they naturally do what any grieving couple in their place would do; they head to Venice to restore an old Church.

There's candy at the bottom. Go ahead and grab some.
In Venice, The husband keeps seeing a little girl in a red Macintosh running around all sneaky-like, and he begins to wonder if it's his daughter, because she had a red Mac too. Forget that shes dead, or that she was 6 before dying and would have no way to make it to Venice on her own, it just has to be her.

"I'm telling you, our dead 6-year-old daughter is alive, and she's followed us here to Venice!"
The wife is no less nutty, making friends with a blind psychic who can see her daughter and says that she's happy in death. Then why is she running the streets of Venice? Huh? Soon, murders begin to plague the water-logged town, and as the sightings of the little girl in the red slicker increase, the husband feels it necessary to chase after her. I won't spoil what happens next here, but I will say that the creepy thing in the raincoat isn't their dead daughter. That's actually a spoiler, so, sorry 'bout that.

Daddy's little princess?
To me, this movie is like an American version of a Giallo film. The old "killer is on the loose" gag is used as a great accent to the crazy shit going on in the foreground of this picture. Slow moving, methodical, laced with hints and foreshadowing, and just genuinely creepy and unsettling, Don't Look Now is a solid effort that works throughout most of its run time.

This is a subtle film bookmarked by a disturbing beginning, and a shocking end; filling us with the dread and despair that the main characters feel following the loss of their daughter. They can't communicate with one another, nor come to terms with things separately, both trying to escape the memory of what happened until they are finally forced to face their feelings. In a lot of ways, this movie is exactly what early 70's Horror was all about; Horror Movies back then were more like dramas with horrific elements thrown into the mix, rather than being overtly bloody efforts, like most Horror flicks tend to be.

I wonder how a movie like this, or even The Exorcist, would fare if they were released today.

Yeah, now's the time to break into song, Donald.
It's never easy watching kids die in movies, unless its that little fucker from Problem Child. Tell me you wouldn't have smirked if you had been able to see him die on-screen.

Not even remotely close to cute.
Was it necessary for us to have to see so much of Donald Sutherland's bare ass? Also, what was with his hairdo?

Staring intensifies.
This movie isn't much on the gore, although there is a nice scene that's fairly bloody towards the end. There are some disturbing images peppered throughout, but they are just mostly of dead bodies though.

We get to see the famous sex scene between Julie Christie and Donald Sutherland that to this day is rumored to have been 100% real.

The both got it.
Stay away from kids standing in corners. Also, Venice is a pretty creepy city.

"O Sole Mio my ass!"
Don't Look Now is a solid movie that gets under your skin and gives you a good shock at the end. Repeated viewings of this one are a good idea, as it's the kind of movie that gets better with each watch.  If you've never seen it, then you definitely need to take some time and check it out.


Don't Look Now is available now on Blu-ray, DVD, and VOD.

Julie Christie was pretty hot back in the day.  

1 comment :

  1. "... Venice is a pretty creepy city."

    You really need to view/review 'Vampire in Venice' (Nosferatu a Venezia) (1988) Klaus Kinski,

    That's one of the hottest 'vampire love stories' I've ever seen, set in the Sinking City and surrounding area.

    Sadly, it's almost impossible to find a copy of it. I don't know that there's a professionally done DVD of it, all I've ever seen were ancient VHS and DVD-Rs of unknown quality. That one REALLY needs TLC and digital restoration.