And Soon the Darkness 1970

director: Robert Fuest  


Genre

Country

Great Britain

Cast

Synopsis

Cathy, blonde and voluptuous, and Jane, dark and pert, are enjoying a cycling holiday in France. Cathy disappears. The very spot from which she vanishes has already seen the murder of one young girl. Is the killer still at large? Waiting? Watching? Who is the sinister young man with the motorbike? Fear hangs suspended in the dust-choked air of a scorching summer's day. A day too hot to last, too oppressive not to end in thunder.

Formats

Available on VHSAvailable on Betamax

Average User Rating: 4 Vote(s)
 
Average User Rating
Average User Rating
Average User Rating
Average User Rating
Average User Rating
Average User Rating
Average User Rating
Average User Rating
Average User Rating
Average User Rating
Coverscan of And Soon the Darkness
Video Cover Thumbnail(s)

Distributor Thorn EMI
Catalogue Number TVC 901552 2
Release Series
Release Date September 1983
Duration:
Printed Classification
Notes
User Reviews:
by sabre210
Robert Fuest's masterful And Soon the Darkness delivers 'sinister' by the bucketloads. Whilst not short on suspense either, it's the overwhelming feeling of eerieness that permeates the film. Having previously directed Wuthering Heights, Fuest clearly understood the innate power of big landscapes and their ability to elicit a specific emotional response . In this, his third feature film, Fuest tapped into the isolation of the sparsely populated French open countryside to great effect. Roads stretch for miles beneath an unbroken horizon, with barely a sign of a living person. Villages en route are eeriely quiet, with cafe's barely attended.  Modern westernised life with all its noise and distraction are replaced with a rural peasant simplicty that seems to have barely changed for centuries. Entering this 'alternate' world are two innocent British Girls, Cathy and Jane (Michelle Dotrice and Pamela Franklin), embarking on a summer cycling trip. As they leisurely progress through the picturesque idyllic countryside, Fuest is frugal with his use of a musical score, instead relying more on the natural ambient sound effects of the countryside: little can be heard but the turning of the bicycle pedals, the twittering of birds, crickets chirupping and the wind through the trees. Only their brief glimpses of an a attractive young man on a motor scooter reminds us that these girls are not completely alone in this world. Stopping for some respite from the burning sun, the girls relax in a shaded copse but soon begin to argue about the pace of their progress and preferred route, with Cathy insisting on a more leisurely pace in preferrence to Janes carefully planned schedule. Reaching an impasse, Jane impetuously departs leaving Cathy soaking up the sun on her own. Arriving at the first village along the road, Jane stops at a bar and decides to wait for Cathy to catch up. When, after several hours, she fails to make an appearance, Jane becomes both concerned and annoyed and cycles back to confront Cathy only to discover her gone but having left some personal items at the site. Convinced Cathy's disappearance has some sinister element to it, and that the young scooter riding man might somehow be responsible for it, Jane returns to the village to report her concerns but becomes increasingly frustrated at her inability to communicate with the french speaking locals and understand what some of them appear to be warning her about. Her isolation deepens and paranoia takes hold, convincing her she is not only in danger herself, but that she can trust no one.Written by Brian Clemens, the man responsible for episodes of many popular TV series including the Avengers, New Avengers, Thriller and The Professionals, as well as bouts writing screenplays for Hammer Studios  including Captain Cronos and Doctor Jekyll and Sister Hyde, And Soon the Darkness is both beautifully understated and  woefully under-rated. Fuest creates high tension and unease but never resorts to cheap shock tactics or relies on formulaic genre shorthand. The film takes place entirely in daytime, is sparingly and carefully scored, has very little explanatory dialogue (much of what is said is spoken in French and never subtitled) but still manages to create a palable foreboding. Highly recommended and a personal favourite of mine.Released originally by Thorn EMI video, this tape is still quite a rarity and doesn't turn up too often. Now available on DVD, the VHS is still worth seeking out for its superior sleeve artwork