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Showing posts from October, 2020

Gothic themes in The Vanishing / Spoorloos (1988)

The Vanishing / Spoorloos (1988) has a cheerful appearance, but a dark feel. A chilling tale of tragic love, it concludes in the most horrifying of ways. And, like many Gothic tales, a strange element of fun lingers amid the hellish torment. It has all the ingredients of mystery and revenge: a boyfriend and his lover, wronged by a perfidious killer. But it lacks the mediaeval imagery and immediate fanfare of American outings (Seven, Silence of the Lambs, etc). Instead, it's more laid back—a vacation gone awry. 
A Dutch couple, Saskia and Rex, are traveling in France. While on the road, Saskia tells Rex of a dream—her, trapped inside a golden egg surrounded by darkness. Her egg must touch another egg for the darkness to end. Then, the two eggs can meld, sharing oblivion forever. The Vanishing is based off a novel called The Golden Egg (1984; written by Tim Krabbé, also The Vanishing's screenwriter). 
If Saskia's dream is hard to picture, the next scene illustrates it for us. …