Don’t Look Now review – Roeg’s scary movie can still make you jump

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From its red stalker to its eerie strangers, this suspenseful classic set a template for horror – but its sexual intimacy adds a dramatic counterpoint few films can match

This week sees the restored rerelease of Nicolas Roeg’s eerie masterpiece Don’t Look Now from 1973, adapted by Allan Scott and Chris Bryant from the short story by Daphne du Maurier. It’s a film that apart from everything else popularised the classic scary-movie template: start off with a family tragedy, follow it with an apparently therapeutic retreat or escape, an illusory easing of the sadness burden, then pivot to a horror nightmare, in such a way that the grotesque denouement appears to flower as a mysteriously logical escalation of that initial heartbreak. It’s a form taken up by Lars von Trier’s Antichrist and, this week, by Ari Aster’s Midsommar.

Julie Christie and Donald Sutherland play Laura and John, a grieving couple whose young daughter has died in a freak accident. John is an architectural historian and restorer whose work takes him and Laura to Venice – of all the places to go to after your child has died by drowning.

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  • July 6, 2019
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