Dont Look Now

Tagline : Pass the warning.

Runtime : 110 mins

Genre : Thriller Drama Horror

Vote Rating : 6.9/10

Budget : 1.5 million $ USD

Plot : Laura and John, grieved by a terrible loss, meet in Venice, where John is in charge of the restoration of a church, two mysterious sisters, one of whom gives them a message sent from the afterlife.

Cast Members


Note-perfect direction, pacing, script and performances make this one of the eeriest, creepiest and unique horror films I have ever seen, and from Roeg's very strong run of films. Perhaps the finest 'reveal' of all time, in fact. In short, a 'must-see' film, and if you enjoy beautifully-shot psychological horror, it's definitely worth a purchase in the finest quality print available, and re-watches...hopefully once every Halloween season, in fact.

I honestly had a great enthusiasm towards this film before I watched it and I really longed for a film that would mainly offer a sinister atmosphere for the most part. I had read so many great things about "Don't Look Now" and the plot, the locations and the characters looked compelling enough to me to give this movie a chance and be prepared to enjoy an over and done masterpiece. Frankly, I am aware that most people who like this film, are probably going to think I'm terribly brainless because I was somehow disappointed by it, but I would much rather speaking my mind and giving my honest opinion. The main reason why this film turned into a disappointment to me, was mostly the fact that there were quite a lot of scenes that worked as a sleeping pill to me. I think I have seen a decent share of horror films that offer big moments of silence and so-called clever symbolism and subtle details that somehow help to build a solid story. However, in "Don't Look Now", I felt a bit overwhelmed by the excessive amount of pointless sequences (and I'm pretty sure they ARE pointless) and images that in the end are reduced to nothing whatsoever. I felt like most of these puzzling and unsolved details, were Nicolas Roeg's way to mystify the audience with discourteous methods and filling blanks to make the movie longer and by some means more "interesting" to look at. Nevertheless, opposite to what those chaotic sequences were meant to incite, I felt somehow underestimated and ripped off. This film could have offered the same story and lots of bright symbolism, without the requirement of bombing the audience with tedious states of affair. I'm very supportive of ambiguity in horror films, when help to create a sinister atmosphere, at least. As an example, I'd probably mention Lucio Fulci, whose films are mostly criticized by the great quantity of nonsensical scenes. However, in Mr. Fulci's case, I think the puzzling aspect of his films, at least contribute in a great deal, to develop a terrifying atmosphere. So to make it short and clear, what I condemn the most about "Don't Look Now", is its offensive and underestimating ambiguity that leads to nothing at all and simply leaves the audience doubting about their own intelligence. Too bad this film cheats the audience with so many pointless oscillations, because the story itself is not bad at all and the characters look darkly beautiful enough to make a frightening horror film, like the two old sisters, for example. The locations were probably one of the most appealing elements in "Don't Look Now" and probably one of the main reasons why I agreed to watch the movie until it was finished instead of just leaving it incomplete. I am not one of those horror fans who expect a big "EUREKA!" moment during the last minutes of a film, I can guarantee that. However, I do not appreciate feeling mocked after a movie is finished. I'm sure this comment will be voted as NOT useful several times by people who support this film and think I'm just an airhead who didn't get it, but that's all right… I can live with that ;) (My five stars, mostly are due to the locations and a couple of eerie moments that made the whole thing endurable somehow).

"John" (Donald Sutherland) and wife "Laura" (Julie Christie) are living in Venice where they encounter two elderly sisters - "Heather" (Hilary Manson) and "Wendy" (Clelia Matania). The former of those enigmatic ladies claims to be able to see an apparition of their recently deceased daughter. "Laura" is engaged, "John" less so - but as the story develops we begin to appreciate that the drowned girl has left demons for both parents to deal with - some more substantial than others! Sutherland is on good form here. His character has some depth to it as we realise that he has yet to fully come to terms with his loss and his grief. Christie also delivers well as she takes a different route to dealing with her stresses and the story balances their needs of each other and for closure. As the mystery deepens, the apparitions become more real and - well what is real and what is not? Nicholas Roeg has also worked hard to create an engaging sense of menace. A lack of special and visual effects but the use of the converted chapel in which "John" works, works well as does a powerful score from accomplished horror genre composer Pino Donaggio all creating an enveloping sense of... yikes! Then there's the love scene - pretty risqué for the time and photographed in a much more graphic (though still stylised) fashion that does illustrate well the fact that couple are lovers still, despite their trauma. The pace can be a bit sluggish at times, but this is still a curiously stimulating film that doesn't really conform to any template that I've seen. It is a thriller as much as a horror and the characterisations are much more substantial - plenty for them and us to get our teeth into. Venice looks great too!

_Don't Look Now_ is a leisurely, disquieting, horror film. The director is going to creep you out, and he's going to take his time doing it. You'll see plenty of quiet weirdness in the time between the chills, and you'll likely try to figure out what all the quiet weirdness means. And, if that doesn't suit you, you'll also see the slightly decaying, earthy-brown Venice, with its startling splashes of bright red, reflections in the water, and clanking, sometimes shattering, glass. You might be able to see what all the talk about vision is, too. The title, for instance, instructs us to not look now, and, as the beginning of the film hints, one of the characters will have some problems seeing things that might not be occurring right now. He won't be the only one, though, because the viewer will also see a disquieting number of sudden flashbacks and flash-forwards, sometimes involving characters who are blind, but claim to have second sight, characters who can see, but can't quite grasp the significance of the things that they are seeing, characters who might only be able to see with one eye, because the audience is prevented from seeing the other one, characters who wear sunglasses indoors, and probably can't see very well because of it, and characters who could see just fine, except it's so dark and foggy out that they can't tell where they're going, even if it's just around the corner. You'll see most of the film spelled out for you in the first twenty minutes, far from Venice. You'll see the brown earth, the startling red splashes of color, the reflections in the water, and the shattering glass. You'll see people looking at things, but not really recognizing their significance. You'll see second sight. You'll see death. You'll see the character that brings about one of the most unsettling, and chilling, endings you're ever likely to see. But, you won't catch the meaning of any of these things when you see them. In fact, you'll even see someone looking something up to find a meaning. But, the film won't tell you whether she understood the meaning, just like the film won't tell you what the film means. _Don't Look Now_ wants you to try to see what is going on and what, for instance, a gargoyle might have to do with it, or why the number of dead children the two sisters have changes when they move a few blocks down the street, or what the blind woman is laughing about, or why someone would stop, while chasing someone else, to close gates behind himself, and prevent anyone from helping him see where he's going. The film may want you to try to figure out who, or what, the casually-mentioned serial killer is, or it may want you to see that it might not mean that much anymore. But, _Don't Look Now_ doesn't want to explain any of these things to you, because if you saw their meaning when you saw them, you wouldn't feel so unsettled. And that would just ruin a movie that wants you to see that sight, or second sight, takes time to understand.

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