SHOCKtober 2012 – Day 20: And Soon the Darkness (1970)

And Soon the Darkness. That is such a damn cool name for a movie. It is foreboding.

It’s just a shame this movie doesn’t live up to its title. Two English girls are touring the French countryside on bicycles. One of them is getting tired of seeing the countryside and wants to stay at a town, meet some boys and do stuff. The two girls fight and the one who planned the trip and doesn’t want to stop rides on. In the next little village she waits at a cafe for her friend to catch up. When she doesn’t show up, the girl heads back to look for her friend, but she’s gone missing.

She meets a man the two of them met earlier, and he claims to be a policeman looking into the disappearance of another girl whose description matches the friend who has gone missing now. But there is something not quite right about this guy…

At that point the rest of the movie is about the girl running from this guy who is either trying to kill her or is trying to protect her from the real killer. Only at the very end do we discover the fate of her friend and who the killer is.

While the film is ultimately fairly boring, as are many of the older “horror” films that are really more thriller than horror, and the ending wasn’t much of a surprise, they did do one thing extremely well: language. When pulling up this film on Netflix, the description mentioned France and the details said it had English subtitles, so I went in thinking I was watching another foreign language film that I would need to read. Instead, there were no subtitles at all. The two girls are British, and don’t speak much French. Meanwhile, most of the people in the villages speak French and not much English. The French isn’t translated or subtitled, which leaves the viewer, assuming you don’t speak French, in the same position as our lead character. She tries to explain things and then tries to comprehend their answers. It adds quite a lot to the mood and tone of the film, heightening the tension for our heroine.

Overall, And Soon the Darkness is a decent film, but not great. I don’t know if I want to watch the 2010 remake that seems to change quite a bit of it, but it has a pretty decent cast…

Be sure to keep an eye on Final Girl and the rest of SHOCKtober.

UPDATE: Check out other participants - Blog @ Rotten Cotton, Life Between Frames, nijomu

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