Don’t Look Now (1973)

DailyView: Day 314, Movie 447

One of the classic horror/thriller films from the 1970s, Don’t Look Now is tonight’s DailyView film. It starred Donald Sutherland and Julie Christie and was directed by Nicolas Roeg.

According to IMDB: “John (Donald Sutherland) and Laura Baxter (Julie Christie) are in Venice when they meet a pair of elderly sisters, one of whom claims to be psychic. She insists that she sees the spirit of the Baxters’ daughter, who recently drowned. Laura is intrigued, but John resists the idea. He, however, seems to have his own psychic flashes, seeing their daughter walk the streets in her red cloak, as well as Laura and the sisters on a funeral gondola.

The feel of this film is the key to it. It has an eerie feeling of dread from the moment that John Baxter gets the flashes of images that showed him his daughter drowning. The guttural scream ripped from his body as he pulled his daughter from the water, knowing that there would be nothing that he could do to save her and not understanding how this image had come to him.

Donald Sutherland is amazing kicking off this film. That powerhouse scene set the tone for what we were in for.

The uneasiness of the moments in Italy, when John would see something or someone that shouldn’t be there, including the mysterious woman in the red coat, keeps everyone off-kilter and anxious. You are never quite sure what is real and what is John’s imagination or his grief or his mind.

Laura is worse yet as she buys into the mysterious sisters immediately after being told information that she believed the sister should not have known. Some of the trances that Heather (Hilary Mason) would go into were frightening. Not only because of the actual trance/fit but also because we do not understand what is happening and we assume that it is something important.

Without spoiling anything, the ending of Don’t Look Now was shocking and surprising and made for a sensational conclusion. I have a suspicion that there were things that I did not pick up on and that there may yet be something hidden that I did not find. It was a film that kept me thinking after it was over and that is always appreciated.

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