What happens when you can’t let something go, and you just have to know the truth, no matter what the cost?
The Vanishing (Spoorloos) is a 1988 Dutch-French thriller film directed by George Sluizer and starring Gene Bervoets, Johanna ter Steege and Bernard-Pierre Donnadieu.
The film is an adaption of the novella The Golden Egg (1984) by Tim Krabbé. In France the film was released under the title ‘L’homme qui voulait savoir’ – The Man Who Wanted to Know.
Rex (Bervoets) and his girlfriend Saskia (Ter Steege) are enjoying a biking holiday in France when, whilst stopping at a gas station, Saskia mysteriously disappears.
Rex searches everywhere for her, but can’t find any trace of her. As the years pass his obsession with trying to find her grows, and he becomes consumed by not knowing what happened to her.
Eventually an unassuming chemistry teacher, Raymond (Donnadieu), approaches Rex, suggesting that he knows what happened…
The Vanishing is a superb, spine-tingling achievement in suspense cinema. One of the most intriguing things about The Vanishing is the film’s unusual structure, which builds suspense even while it seems to be telling us almost everything we want to know.
Stanley Kubrick thought The Vanishing was the most terrifying film he’d seen — even more so than The Shining – and called Sluizer to discuss film editing.
The Vanishing was heavily praised on international release. Empire magazine placed the film at number 67 in their list of “The 100 Best Films Of World Cinema”.
Sluizer later remade the film in English in 1993 with Kiefer Sutherland and Sandra Bullock, but the remake was poorly received.
Watch the official trailer for The Vanishing HERE: