Movie Review: The Vanishing
It was originally supposed to be entitled KEEPERS, which would have been beneficial in terms of differentiating this one from other movies with the same title. This one is based on a true story, the mysterious disappearance of three lighthouse keepers, James Ducat, Donald McArthur, and Thomas Marshall, in 1900 in the Flannan Islands off the coast of Scotland. Having not too long ago seen Robert Eggers’ masterful THE LIGHTHOUSE (which references the Flannan Isles mystery), I was primed for some groovy spooky lighthouse-centered mystery, and the potential was certainly there. The unknown is a powerful stimulus to creative interpretation, and the fate of the three men remains unexplained to this very day.
Did the movie live up to its promise? I guess it did. It wasn’t what I expected. Netflix branded this one as a Horror movie and it really isn’t. There’s no supernatural element, no monsters. The only evil is human evil, insidious and slippery. With THE VANISHING the acting is terrific and the cinematography lovely. It’s a perfectly fine movie, being what it is. But what it is isn’t the movie I wanted it to be. I think the movie I wanted it to be already exists. *That* movie is called THE LIGHTHOUSE and it stars Willem Dafoe and Robert Pattinson.
WAYNE MILLER is the owner and creative director of EVIL CHEEZ PRODUCTIONS, specializing in theatrical performances and haunted attractions. He has written, produced, and directed (and occasionally acted in) over two dozen plays, most of them in the Horror and True Crime genres. He obtained a doctorate in Occult Studies from Miskatonic University and is an active paranormal investigator. Is frequently told he resembles Anton Lavey. And Ming the Merciless.
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