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The Vanishing (1993)

tomatometer

25

Average Rating: 4.4/10
Critic Reviews: 8
Fresh: 2 | Rotten: 6

No consensus yet.

audience

47

liked it
Average Rating: 3.1/5
User Ratings: 15,241

My Rating

Movie Info

George Sluizer's 1992 English-language remake of his 1988 Dutch thriller The Vanishing follows the same plot-line as the original film, yet with one important difference. The film details a young man's (Kiefer Sutherland) search for his girlfriend (Sandra Bullock), who disappeared at a gas station after the couple had a fight. Where the original film didn't reveal what happened to the girlfriend until late into the movie, the 1992 version opens with her kidnapper (Jeff Bridges) plotting his

R,

Mystery & Suspense

Todd Graff

Sep 7, 2004

Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment

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All Critics (34) | Top Critics (8) | Fresh (16) | Rotten (18) | DVD (5)

Schematic and unconvincing.

August 12, 2007 Full Review Source: Variety
Variety
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Misjudged, compromised Hollywood remake.

January 26, 2006 Full Review Source: Time Out
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The first movie was existential in its merciless unfolding. This one turns into a slasher movie with a cheap joke at the end.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: Chicago Sun-Times
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Too much of what is good about the original The Vanishing has been eviscerated. If you want quality, see the Dutch version; this one is a pale imitation.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: ReelViews
ReelViews
Top Critic IconTop Critic

[Screenwriter Todd Graff] duplicates many of the original scenes (particularly the significant gas station ones), but does so mechanically. He jettisons most of the subtleties that made the first film so memorable.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: Washington Post
Washington Post
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A case study in how Hollywood can make a complete mess out of what was previously a marvelous film.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: Washington Post
Washington Post
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Sluizer's Hollywood remake of his own brilliant Spooloos is a lobotomised version of its chillier, more cerebral precursor.

June 14, 2009 Full Review Source: Film4
Film4

...a thoroughly involving thriller that boasts a number of genuinely tense sequences...

April 29, 2008 Full Review Source: Reel Film Reviews
Reel Film Reviews

Sutherland is the key to the proceedings and his intense, narrow-minded, obsessive search for his ex-girlfriend is what kept me going most of the way.

February 5, 2005 Full Review Source: JoBlo's Movie Emporium
JoBlo's Movie Emporium

Often stands shoulder-to-shoulder with its forerunner--or is at the very least too provocative in its departures to dismiss out of hand

September 5, 2004 Full Review Source: Film Freak Central
Film Freak Central

The original was horrifying.

May 17, 2004
FilmsInReview.com

Truly creepy, but not as good as the original.

November 26, 2003
Movie Mom at Yahoo! Movies

Sluizer's Americanized remake of his own film is more commercial, but, to me, also more appealing.

August 24, 2003
Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)

The worst thing about this version of The Vanishing is the same thing that was best in the original -- the ending.

September 13, 2002 Full Review Source: rec.arts.movies.reviews
rec.arts.movies.reviews

It doesn't defy rationality, but rather turns rationality itself into an instrument of horror.

September 11, 2002
Q Network Film Desk

The American remake of The Vanishing adds nothing but a happy ending to the original.

July 25, 2002
Matinee Magazine

Where the original film was haunting and spooky and ultimately quite shocking, this version is more flat and matter-of-fact.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: Deseret News, Salt Lake City
Deseret News, Salt Lake City

A good, psychological thriller that, I suspect, packs more of a wallop if you have not seen the original.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: Austin Chronicle
Austin Chronicle

Audience Reviews for The Vanishing

Barney Cousins: To me, to kill is not the worst thing you can imagine. There is more. 

"Obsession is the Ultimate Weapon"

The Vanishing is miles from the amazing original and ends up only making me want to revisit Spoorloos. To be fair though, I didn't necessarily hate this movie until the ending. Sure it had it's problems throughout, but I pretty much expected that. The ending is sure to outrage anyone who has seen and loved the original. It's sad that, in remaking the film, they would decide to end it in the way they did. Obviously it was to appeal to a mass audience who loves a happy ending. 

The cast has some pretty big names. Jeff Bridges, Keifer Sutherland and Sandra Bullock. None of them give very memorable performances and that disappoints me because I do normally enjoy watching all of them. None of them were quite as bad as Nancy Travis though. She was thoroughly unbelievable, just like the movie. Everything just seems off when compared to the original. I can see people who haven't seen Spoorloos liking this based on the fact that they have nothing to compare it to. 

The Vanishing is a great example of a Hollywood team totally destroying everything that was great about the movie it is remaking. Sometimes American remakes can come through; for example Let Me In. The big difference that makes Let Me In a good remake compared to The Vanishing is that it is respectful to the original. The Vanishing changes to many key elements of the film to allow the main ideas to get across. Hopefully this at least has made a few people curious enough about the original, to find and watch it. 
August 15, 2011
blkbomb
Melvin White

Super Reviewer

A thoroughly exciting psychological thriller. I haven't seen the original version of this movie made some 4-6 years before this movie by the same director with the same name, so I enjoyed it all the more. However, if you get the original one, prefer watching it as the climax has been changed and as per the reviews in general, the first one was better than this one. However, this is also worth a watch if you don't get the original. It wouldn't be advisable to miss this one if you really love movies of thriller genre.
January 6, 2009
imrealgod

Super Reviewer

Suspenseful thriller with Kiefer Sutherland looking for his vanished wife Sandra Bullock. Jeff Bridges plays the extremely creepy kidnapper. There's a nice plot of Kiefer not finding out what happened to his wife until late in the film, where he must experience "The Vanishing" himself.
August 18, 2007
YosemiteSamFan

Super Reviewer

    1. Barney: I don't need a gun. Your obsession is my weapon.
    – Submitted by 3guys 1 (3 years ago)
View all quotes (1)

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