Dir: Nicholas Roeg | Writers: Alan Scott, Chris Bryant | Cast: Julie Christie, Donald Sutherland, Hilary Mason, Clelia Matania | Fantasy Horror, UK 110’
Nicolas Roeg based his achingly tragic supernatural drama on a short story by Daphne du Maurier. It sees a grieving couple burying their sorrows in Italy after their small daughter drowns at home in Suffolk, wearing a shiny new mackintosh. John, an architect, has been commissioned to restore a church and Venice is eerie and beguiling in the out of season mists. But soon a doom-laden warning from a two English women, one of them a blind psychic, takes them off guard shrouding their bereavement in fear and but bringing Laura (Christie) a strange sense of hope in the shape of premonitions. But soon further torment seems unavoidable as the past and the future collide.
As a wave of killings haunts the city, Laura returns to England to visit their son after an accident at his school. But the premonitions don’t stop: John suffers a near-fatal accident high on the church scaffolding, and then he glimpses his wife, supposedly hundreds of miles away, on a private launch flanked by the two mysterious sisters. The local police are intrigued by and even sympathetic to his story, but cannot help. As Venice and his fate closes in on John, illusion, reality and sudden terror spiral the story to its grotesque climax, as the design in director Nicolas Roeg’s mosaic becomes unforgettably clear.
Don’t look now is a richly romantic and deeply sorrowful story of love, longing and quiet desperation Imbued with ominous motifs and Roeg’s evocative visual style. Fate seems inescapable in this dreamlike place where time stands still and unsettling silence is occasionally broken by a bird in flight or a banging door. A whiff of atavistic evil lurks at every lonely corner undermining the power of love and casting a dark pall over the couple’s attempts to discover the truth as they are gradually drawn into a web of mystery and horror. It’s a dignified, discreet and well bred terror, but it’s terrifying all the same.
Christie and Sutherland exude a captivating chemistry drowning in this kindgom of the senses the mood gradually escalating in into a mood of horror and disbelief surrounding their dead daughter. MT
4K ULTRA HD RESTORATION BACK IN CINEMAS JULY 5 COURTESY OF STUDIOCANAL | AVAILABLE ON BLURAY, DVD, COLLECTOR’s EDITION and EST JULY 29