And Soon The Darkness
Written by Brian Clemens & Terry Nation
Directed by Robert Fuest
Friends Cathy and Jane are on vacation in France, bicycling through the scenic countryside. They get into a bit of an argument--a real row--and separate long enough to cool off. When Jane heads back to the wooded area where she left Cathy, she finds her friend missing, with only a pair of panties as proof that she had ever been there.
All evidence points to the fact that Cathy was abducted by some unknown assailant, but Jane has a hard time acknowledging that. She accepts the help of Paul, a mysterious man whom Cathy had been making goo-goo eyes at earlier in the day, before realizing that he may not be telling her the full truth about himself.
This thriller isn't always thrilling, but it's not bad either. Pamela Franklin is beautiful and natural as Jane, while Michele Dotrice as Cathy is not quite as beautiful or talented, but she shows a little bit more skin to make up for it. Sandoe Eles, who plays Paul, seems like a real cool character, smooth and shadowy at the same time. All of the locals are a little off-kilter, and you get the sense that all of them are hiding something, and any one of them could be behind Carol's disappearance.
It was pretty smart of the filmmakers to not include subtitles for any of the French dialogue, as it makes us feel as alien and outcast as Jane does while searching for her friend in a foreign landscape.
It's also got a solid soundtrack that helps set the mood, ranging from a hip and bubbly melody during the carefree opening sequences to a hard hitting, heart pounding orchestral assault during the suspenseful chase scene climax.
A bit uneven, in its best moments And Soon The Darkness reminded me a bit of Hitchcock, and in its worst a decently effective made-for-TV movie. It's a lesser-known gem that still shines pretty bright despite the dust, and deserves an audience.
Although this doesn't seem to be a movie screaming for a remake, it still got one in 2010--which will be reviewed tomorrow.
"It's not exactly swinging. But it is dangling."