Saturday, February 27, 2010

And Soon the Darkness: This Town is Just a Bunch of Panty Thieves.

On the advice of Chris Hallock I have watched And Soon the Darkness. He had warned me ahead of time that the music was at times a bit funky, and that the accents might be a little bothersome but I waved it off. I waved it off because I love funky music that seems out of place, the 70s, hot pants, AND most especially really awesome English accents. As someone who fell head over heels for the creepy undertones in Let's Scare Jessica to Death, I know that when all was said and done I would probably love And Soon the Darkness. Turns out- I was mostly usual.

The movie is about two nurses who decide to take a holiday, biking through the French countryside- seeing the "real" France as they call it. Somewhere along the serious wedgies they must have endured (Hot pants on bicycles? Yikes.) the two have a tiff and part ways. Cathy the semi-slut decides she needs to work on that pasty skin of hers, and tans in a secluded woodsy area, while Jane heads to a little road side cafe. After Cathy puts her under garments out to dry--don't ask me why because I have NO idea, she hears noises and grows increasingly nervous. Before long she finds that her bike is mysteriously destroyed and that's the last we see of her. Meanwhile, Jane's heart returns and she goes back to get Cathy only to find her missing. After being warned countless times that this is a bad area, and a detective tells her that the area is associated with brutal murders, Cathy's future only looks bleaker. As Jane and the "dishy" detective search for clues on her friends disappearance, Jane grows worried that the killer may be closer then she thinks.

If you're one of those people who gets bored easily and dislikes the "slow burn" type of horror, then stay far away from this. Not a lot happens until the very end- and you'll be forced to sit through shot after shot of amazingness. If you can appreciate that amazingness than settle down for an hour and 40 minutes of cool, choppy, suspense- piloted by a Hitchcock lover no doubt. The film builds up atmosphere and sticks to the standard idea that when done correctly, suspense and horror can be just as effective in the day time as it is at night. Even the film's title, speaks highly of this idea, suggesting that the darkness hasn't even come yet. What we see and what we are exposed to happens entirely in the supposed safety of daylight. And that my friends is one of the many reasons this film surprised me.

There is also the deep sense of mystery, and the idea that we have no idea who the killer is until that end reveal. There are so many shady figures in this town, I was starting to wonder if the whole town wasn't all a part of it in someway but of course I was probably just yearning for a Let's Scare Jessica to Death vibe. But honestly you get the sense pretty early on, that the people in this town are weird. The least of their problems is a murderer/rapist who kills tourists bicycling through town. What they should really be worried about is this guy:

Stealing panties and putting them on his head...the bastard. Which also reminds me--this movie is obsessed with undies! And why God why were Cathy's so dirty looking? Oh right because she's kind of a whore, but seriously, who has actual dirt stains on the outside of their underwear? You're a nurse I think you can at least make a decent enough living to invest in some new undies. Just sayin'. I suppose it could have something to do with the...ending but I thought those were the undies she had put out to dry on the tree- not the one she was wearing. Have I said too much? Whoops.

So overall, I did quite enjoy this little slice of homage to Hitchcock pie. The scenes towards the end where Jane is hiding and then the shocking and uber creepy reveal at the end was fabulous. I also really loved how the ending turned into darkness, just as the title suggested- and how the rain slowly beating down on that window thing was just so...perfect. There were a lot of great things going on, but like I said I won't recommend this to you all. In fact I'd wager a guess that only about 45% of you will keep watching till the end. Yes it is at times frustrating to realize that you're on a slow bicycle to nowhere--but once you get to the end you should realize that the journey was pretty great and you'll begin to appreciate it so much more.

And if you can't appreciate that, then maybe you will appreciate this little slip up.

Pssssst! Your camera's showing!

Also this movie is gearing up for a remake which to be honest I'm kind of excited about. We shall see!


The Mike said...

OK, I want to see this now.

Good work!

William Malmborg said...

Sounds pretty interesting, something I will certainly add to my dvd by mail selection. From what you say, it sounds like there is an eerie undercurrent throughout this film, one which keeps telling you something just isn't right and keeps you a bit on edge. I love films like that.

Scare Sarah said...

How can anyone not love these films. You need to appreciate the "amazingness"

Anonymous said...

Saw this flick on YouTube last year, and really enjoyed it. There's no sex or major gore in it, there's hardly any music---which is very unusual for an early '70's British (or American) flick, and refreshing on top of that,too. It's rarely shown on TV for some reason,though. Also, the blond nurse wasn't a slut--that's pretty sexist,seeing she dosen't do anything of that nature in the film. Good to see someone else appreciates this obscure treasure,though!