Welcome to Laughing Vixen Lounge and another round of Fear Friday. This week's selection continues the July theme of what happens when tourists do stupid things while traveling in other countries. This time we go back to 1970 for a tale of two young woman who make a very bad decision while traveling in France. This is classic suspense in the tradition of Hitchcock with a modern remake for those who prefer a little more action with their fear. So find a buddy, sit back and enjoy the film. And for heaven's sake, do not leave your buddy behind!!!
Every Friday at the Laughing Vixen Lounge Blog is Fear Friday. Fear Fridays are a celebration of all films spooky. Horror is a very broad genre and the Lounge loves it all. Each Friday you will find a review of a different film. These can range from Classic Horror (black and white and cheesy), Thrillers (suspense, jumps and a good mystery), outright Horror (chop chop, slash slash, die die) and anything else in between.
So pop some popcorn, kill the lights and enjoy tonight's selection. And please, share your comments on the film. Bad or good let me now what you thought of it. And now, my little ghouls and dolls, the Laughing Vixen Lounge Blog is proud to present this week's film.
July - Vacation Nightmares
Fear Friday - And Soon The Darkness
Tagline - Remember the way Hitchcock kept you on the edge
of your seat...?
Directed by Robert Fuest (The Abominable Dr. Phibes) and released on September 10, 1970 by Warner-Pathe Distributors. (rated PG). Jane and Cathy, two young British woman, are bicycling through France. After an argument about the pace of the trip, Jane leaves Cathy to sunbath by the side of the road. Frustrated, she heads into town and waits for Cathy to catch up. As time passes Jane will begin to realize that something is very wrong.
The next film in our Vacation Nightmares is a tale of how one bad decision can turn a enjoyable vacation into a horrible nightmare. Our story starts with two young British girls on a cycling trip through France. Cathy likes to flirt and have fun. Jane is more about staying on schedule and not taking risks. After stopping in a small village for a drink the two head back to the road. Cathy complains and wants to stop and enjoy the sun. Jane agrees and they stop to sunbath in the grass. As time passes Jane is worried about making it to their next stop by dark and wants to get going. Cathy does not want to leave and does not care about keeping time. After the two argue Jane leaves Cathy and heads on to the next little town. But as Jane waits and waits and waits she begins to worry about her friend. Is Cathy just trying to irritate her or has something gone horribly wrong?
This film is a great little gem from the 70's. To be fair it is really more of a thriller/mystery than an outright horror film. If you like suspense, mood and story as the driving force of a movie I highly recommend giving this one a try. It is a slow paced movie but worth the time. Like it's tagline says it does play like an old Hitchcock movie. Not quite on the level of his story telling but still an interesting watch. While it does not have the slam bang action of today's movies it is creepy and tense with a few "AH" moments. No real gore or blood.
One of the things that creates the fear and worry in this film is the same element that played in our last two movies... not knowing the language. While Jane seems to know some French it is not enough to really communicate with the locals in the small village. And when there is a real emergency I can imagine how something like that would greatly heighten the feel of desperation and fear. To help the viewer feel this experience the movie makers chose to not include subtitles for the French speaking parts. So we, just like Jane, have no idea what the people are saying. Are they trying to help, telling her to get lost or something worse? It is an effective choice that keeps us, the viewer, a little confused just like Jane. That is of course unless you know French. I did take three years back in Junior High School but that does not seem to help me much. Ha!
Another common theme here is being in an unfamiliar place and not knowing who to trust. Like any good mystery everyone looks like a suspect and we flop back and forth on who is the good guy and who is the villain. While there are not a lot of characters the story still manages to pull this off.
There was a remake made in 2010. This is a much slicker, shinier and livelier version. As most movies today it has more action and violence. That being said it does follow the original fairly closely. This time around it is two American girls cycling through Argentina. All of the same elements apply to the same unfortunate choice except this time around the ending is much more physical.
Both are worth viewing and, depending on your taste, you can either choose one or be adventurous and try them both. The 1970's version is currently available to stream on Amazon and both versions should be available on most DVD services.
Take a look at the original trailer.
Take a look at the original trailer for the 2010 remake.
Sorry, no trivia for this one.