While this British Horror entry certainly takes its time in establishing its characters and crafting its tension, the patient viewer will be paid off with a beautifully shot and entirely suspenseful thriller! Two English girls are making a biking tour of France when they decide to separate for a few hours. When one returns to find the other, she finds their resting place deserted. She is then approached by a charming Frenchman who stops to see if he can help, but she soon discovers that he knows more than he is letting on to. What follows is a brilliant murder mystery where everyone in a small village is found suspect. It is all the more alarming that none of the French characters are subtitled, since it is impossible to tell if they are friend or foe. The story structure keeps the audience guessing at every turn, throwing a new curve just when the viewer thinks they have found the killer. On top of the keen visuals, a sinister score heightens the suspense, striking an ominous chord even in the more mild scenes. Themes of rape and murder are handled with the utmost subtlety, since the acts are only alluded two while showing nothing on screen. This allowed the film to achieve all of the gut-wrenching terror above will earning itself a PG rating! The film is sure to have influenced Dutch director George Sluizer in many ways, as DARKNESS also shares a great deal of similarities in character and tone to SPOORLOOS. Though this one is difficult to get your hands on, it is well worth seeking out and comes highly recommended!
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