Tagline: The most harrowing experience that you may ever endure.
Following the accidental death of their daughter, Christine, John and Laura Baxter leave their country house in England and take a trip to Venice. The trip is largely due to John’s job – the restoration of a church – but it also gives the couple the opportunity to get some much-needed space away from their home, as they work their way through the grief of losing a child.
Shortly into their trip, Laura meets elderly sisters, Heather and Wendy. Heather – who is blind – claims to be a psychic, and tells Laura she can ‘see’ Christine. Laura is a little unsettled by Heather’s claim, but soon comes around to the idea – something which does not sit well with John.
John is very suspicious of the sisters, and believes their discussions of Christine are not benefitting Laura, who is working through the grieving process. But John’s scepticism of Heather is tested when he starts to experience strange visions, including the appearance of a hooded figure amongst the tunnels of Venice.
The figure looks remarkably like his daughter. Could Christine be reaching out from beyond the grave?
Based on a short story by Daphne du Maurier, Don’t Look Now is a psychological horror-thriller, which is widely considered to be a landmark movie in British cinema. The film is regularly brought up in academic discussions, and is often cited as one of the most influential movies of the 1970s – and rightfully so.
Don’t Look Now is a fascinating picture, which pushes beyond the boundaries of traditional storytelling. It plays with the concept of time, employing both flashbacks and flashforwards to tell its story, and includes recurring themes and motifs throughout.
In addition to its disorientating storytelling techniques, Don’t Look Now is also incredibly atmospheric, with director Nicolas Roeg making use of drab, dank locations – in both the UK and Venice – to create a very bleak and sombre picture. This is a horror story filled with tragedy, and shaped by depression and loss, and that is embedded into the very fabric of the film.
Modern audiences, who are new to Don’t Look Now might find it a little unusual, and at times, a touch confusing, which is why repeat viewings and open discussions of the movie are encouraged. However, no amount of additional screenings or in-depth conversations will alter the shocking outcome of the movie’s final reel, which remains forever burned into horror history, and provides much to think about during the closing credits.
John Baxter – “Christine is dead. She is dead! Dead! Dead! Dead! Dead! Dead!”
Cast and crew
Don’t Look Now is directed by Nicolas Roeg, produced by Peter Katz, and is based on a screenplay by Allan Scott and Chris Bryant. Pino Donaggio composed the music.
The cast includes Julie Christie, Donald Sutherland, Hilary Mason, Clelia Matania, Adelina Poerio, Renato Scarpa, and Massimo Serato.
Thank you for stopping by It’s A Stampede! to read this spotlight post focusing on a must-see horror movie. This ‘spotlight’ on Don’t Look Now is one post in a series of ten posts looking at superb horror movies and shorts which you may or may not have seen.
Other posts in this series include: Suspiria (1977), The Strange Thing About the Johnsons (2011), Psycho (1960), The Omen (1976), The Blair Witch Project (1999), The ‘Burbs (1989), Lights Out (2013), The Woman in Black (2012), and Bone Tomahawk (2015).
The aim is to spread some horror love around the internet, and possibly introduce you to a slice of horror that you may have overlooked. So, make sure to add this movie to your next horror movie marathon.
And for more horror-related content, be sure to check out the recommended reads below.