Don't Look Now

Film, Drama
4 out of 5 stars
(4user reviews)
The 100 best horror films, horror movies, Don't Look Now
A superbly chilling essay in the supernatural, adapted from Daphne du Maurier's short story about a couple, shattered by the death of their small daughter, who go to Venice to forget. There, amid the hostile silences of an off-season resort, they are approached by a blind woman with a message of warning from the dead child; and half- hoping, half-resisting, they are sucked into a terrifying vortex of time where disaster may be foretold but not forestalled. Conceived in Roeg's usual imagistic style and predicated upon a series of ominous associations (water, darkness, red, shattering glass), it's hypnotically brilliant as it works remorselessly toward a sense of dislocation in time; an undermining of all the senses, in fact, perfectly exemplified by Sutherland's marvellous Hitchcockian walk through a dark alley where a banging shutter, a hoarse cry, a light extinguished at a window, all recur as in a dream, escalating into terror the second time round because a hint of something seen, a mere shadow, may have been the dead child.

Release details

110 mins

Cast and crew

Nicolas Roeg
Allan Scott, Chris Bryant
Renato Scarpa
Donald Sutherland
Julie Christie
Hilary Mason
Clelia Matania
Massimo Serrato

Average User Rating

3.8 / 5

Rating Breakdown

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1 person listening

Don't Look Now (1973) is director Nicolas Roeg's best film followed by The Man Who Fell To Earth (1976). It's hard to watch as a parent because it focuses on the aftermath of a death of a child. Donald Sutherland and the beautiful Julie Christie play the grief stricken parents in this classic dark journey. The haunting music score and the overall atmosphere is ahead of its time,to know that this film was made in 1973 is remarkable. Many great landmark films have been made years before and since but the hook here is that there is no other film that gives you such a unique disturbing experience about grief. If you've seen this film before, I suggest you invest in a rewatch because this upsetting story is just as powerful now. The broken couple go to Venice after the death of their daughter,their controlled grief gives us the feeling that some time has past, unfortunately we're not given a time frame indication. Don't Look Now is an intelligent exploration of psychic power and of griefs ability to make us distressingly vulnerable. It demonstrates how people used to react to phychics (as many still do) and has a constant sense of dread and deja vu giving a genuinely thought provoking and creepy slow ride. If you haven't seen this film and you appreciate old school horror without the aggressive in your face brutality, then this will provide you with a depressing and at times frightening experience that will remain in your mind to the point of outstaying its welcome. Don't Look Now has great characterization, script and pace that many modern film makers haven't emulated which is strange because after all these years where we've experienced fast technical advancement, and yet some modern productions have regressed instead of learning from genuine film art like this 1973 example. The use of red imagery witnessed at the start and during the film is genius and when dramatic moments are emphasized by slow motion its just beautiful cinema. 1973 must have been an incredible year for cinema because this film was one of three outstanding productions at the time, the other two were 'The Wicker Man' and 'The Exorcist'. Don't look Now is chilling, mesmerizing and an example of classic groundbreaking cinema. bleedingcritic™

Don't Look Now spans ancient fears, the supernatural, modern day confusion, and caution with the future. A little fright along the way always seals the interest.

Don't Look Now spans ancient fears, the supernatural, modern day confusion, and caution with the future. A little fright along the way always seals the interest.