Monday, October 26, 2009

October Horror Fest #24: DON'T LOOK NOW

Criminally underrated and almost always overlooked in most horror overviews, Don't Look Now is a superb psychological thriller on par with Jacob's Ladder and The Shining. There in an unrelenting sense of unease and dread that develops right from the beginning and never really lets up.

Donald Sutherland, in one of his finest performances, is an American vacationing in Venice with his wife (Julie Christie) after the accidental death of their young daughter. They are visited by blind twin sisters, one of whom is a psychic and insists their daughter is still alive. John Baxter (Sutherland) refuses to believe her, but soon starts having psychic flashes of his own and slowly loses his grip on reality.

This is a film I always try and recommend to people. The acting is brilliant; there's actually a long-standing legend that the sex scene between Sutherland and Christie wasn't simulated. How's that for effective? The city of Venice is beautifully captured by the cinematography. Its decaying architecture is the consummate metaphor for Baxter's slow decent into paranoia. The strong use of symbolism is also very well utilized and adds an element of film noir to the film. Another must-have film, not just for horror fans but anyone who lives cinema.

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