Don’t Look Now

Don’t Look Now [1973]
Don’t Look Now [1973] – Image

“Nothing is what it seems.” A psychological thriller/horror film directed by Nicolas Roeg (Walkabout, The Man Who Fell to Earth) and adapted from a short story by Daphne du Maurier, Don’t Look Now is the kind of movie that I watched casually and then realized that I missed a ton of clues that pointed to the film’s inevitable conclusion. It’s the kind of film that sticks with you and, believe me, you’ll be thinking about it days later. After the accidental drowning death of their daughter, John Baxter (Donald Sutherland) heads to Venice with his wife, Laura (Julie Christie). Baxter has been commissioned to restore an ancient church. At a restaurant, the couple encounters two creepy elderly sisters, Wendy (Celia Matania) and Heather (Hilary Mason), a blind psychic who claims to be able to “see” their daughter. Laura tries to convince the more skeptical John that the psychic is telling the truth. John soon starts catching glimpses of a childlike figure in a red coat similar to the one worn by his daughter, as well as experiencing other strange visions. To add to the confusion, there’s a serial killer on the loose in Venice. That’s about all the plot I feel comfortable giving away. I enjoyed the outstanding performances, recurring motifs (the color red, glass, water, etc.), the excellent use of the Venice locale and the truly horrifying ending. The film’s infamous sex scene reportedly caused some controversy in its day but I found it quite awkward and amusing (especially after watching the opening of Bridesmaids!). Useless Trivia: Roeg reportedly briefly entertained the idea of casting real-life couple Natalie Wood and Robert Wagner in the lead roles.

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