Don't Look Now - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Don't Look Now Reviews

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½ October 15, 2015
There once was a time during which Laura (Julie Christie) and John Baxter (Donald Sutherland) were part of a blissful family, the parents of two darling little kids, the owners of a stunning country home, a prime example of a marriage gone right. But tragedy, like comedy, can enter one's home without knocking on the front door first: upon one misty Sunday afternoon, quiet, relaxing hours are turned into precursors of horror when the Baxters' elementary-aged daughter, Christine (Sharon Williams), attempts to fetch the ball she dropped in the backyard's pond only to slip and, without warning, drown. The bliss is now laced with fury; the two darling little kids are now one; the country home is now a place of trauma; and the marriage, once full of laughter and effortless comfort, though still intact, is very evidently now creased around the edges.
Some months pass, and Laura and John are now in the process of renovating a church in Venice. Grieving the loss of a child is an experience that never really ends, but the two are at the point where crying at every waking moment is no longer an option - a permanent pang has settled in their stomachs, never leaving even when moving on sounds a regrettable paradise. We can see that the Baxters are still very much in love. But it's different, aching now. The labyrinthine design of Venice hardly lets them forget about the tumult at home.
The tug of the past pulls even harder one day, when, during lunch, a blind psychic (Hilary Mason) and her sister (Clelia Matania) cause a fuss in the restaurant, informing Laura that the source of the ruckus was due to the former's sighting of Christine. For the first time in what feels like years, Laura's incessant melancholy is replaced by bittersweet joy; John isn't so trustworthy. But when he begins experiencing strange premonitions himself, including visions of a little girl wearing a red raincoat similar to Christine's, he is forced to decode their meaning: are they yet another stage in his relentless grief, or is there something more ominous at play?
Nicolas Roeg's "Don't Look Now" is a horror film for the history books, at one moment a startling study of the effects of grief, in another a supernatural frightener that unsettles due to its lack of explanation. As viewers, we are inclined to track down missing pieces to the puzzle, especially perplexed by the twist ending that shocks just as much as it baffles. Roeg's direction is impressively cryptic, Christie and Sutherland's performances staggering in the way they are able to so convincingly appear as damaged people trying to recover from what made them so damaged in the first place.
But as much as I can appreciate the tremendous work done in "Don't Look Now," I appear to be one of the few immune to most of it - though the ending is surely one of my favorite moments in horror history, I found myself appreciative of the tension constructed but never actually moved by it. I attempt to reach out and empathize as much as I can - yet there's a feeling of inexplicable cold that I cannot grasp.
But "Don't Look Now" is too good a film to outright lambast; while I am not a member of the understandable cult that consistently announces it as one of the finest horror movies ever made, it is still a remarkable film. It turns the love scene into an art rather than a gratuity. It cements red as a recurring color of malevolence in film. It revolutionizes the plot twist. It is an important film - I just wish I could connect to it the same way so much of the population already does.
½ October 3, 2015
71%
Saw this on 1/10/15
By no means a great suspense film or a frightening one either, but this horror film has the atmosphere and elements of a fine drama about a couple who just lost their child. Sutherland and Julie Christy give fine performance and the cinematography is fantastic. The music score, only if it's there for just 10 minutes maximum, is great. But once the film is over you would mostly feel deceived because the film on the whole means nothing at all.
August 14, 2015
A very tense & unusual film about a grieving couple after loosing their daughter to a water drowning accident.

The travel to Venice to move on & also design a local monastery & then they meet a physic who is able to communicate things very especially messages from their daughter.

A large part of the film is quite confusing but if you follow it, it unravels in time. The father begins following a young child in a red coast that leads to disastrous outcome.
August 4, 2015
Nicolas Roeg's iconic film is a surreal horror movie about grief, guilt and love. It is about seeing and not being able to see all at once. Brilliant from every single aspect and perspective.
½ July 10, 2015
Nothing happens till the last 20 minutes. Might require a second viewing, but the first viewing was slow and confusing. Definitely not a horror film.
½ June 30, 2015
"Don't Look Now" is a very effective horror film; which instead of monsters and gore uses grief, unsettling imagery, a unique melding of time, and the location of Venice itself to create a very unique, subtle form of dread in the viewer.
Super Reviewer
June 11, 2015
Polarizingly indifferent to what one would expect from a horror film - I don't really think its a thriller - Don't Look Now is Nicolas Roeg's take on The Birds' Daphne du Maurier's twisted story of grieving the death of a child in a foreign country. Plagued by (psychic?) visits from beyond the grave, Julie Christie and Donald Sutherland find themselves in a miserable warp of a game throughout the film. It's good, but it isn't amazing. The style in which its filmed isn't necessarily surrealistic but its a Rosemary's Baby-esque dream-like style that twists and turns with alot of quick cuts and interceptions of nonsense or irrelevance that make it all the much more scary, because things that don't make sense are scary always and Roeg understand this. The sex scene is really cool as well and remarks on how controversial the seventies must of been for film, released in the same year as Friedkin's The Exorcist and two years before The Rocky Horror Picture Show, in the same decade as 120 Days of Sodom, I Spit On Your Grave and A Clockwork Orange, reminding us we will always push boundaries like big red buttons, of course most of it is pretty tame to us now. Don't Look Now is also relentlessly humble and unpolished throughout with muffled and dusty street corners, the romantic city of Venice is more city of devils than angels and is painted as no Happily Ever After destination. The twist ending will stay with you for a very long time and whilst some parts of the film seem slightly plotless resulting in the film seeming a tad overlong, the finalé reeks of time well spent.
½ May 31, 2015
Gorgeously shot film. Really sheds a new light on the atmosphere of Venice. This probably needs to be viewed a couple times to fully appreciate the work of art it is.
½ April 19, 2015
The most visually stunning movie I've ever seen. Some of the images are truly terrifying. The movie has highs and lows, but the highs are masterful and provides horror even a film snob could appreciate. Donald Sutherland is great, as always. He has a very sophisticated and intense screen presence.
½ April 15, 2015
how did this get on my list?
½ April 11, 2015
This is less a horror film (it's not very scary) than an elegantly constructed and atmospheric examination of grief and paranoia. The film editing, particularly in the opening and sex scene, are a masterclass in conception, theme, and execution.
½ April 4, 2015
Starts out great, and offers some terrific Venice locales, but loses steam in the second half.
February 26, 2015
In the 40 years since the release of Don't Look Now, the film has grown a legacy that few other films can claim. It has been called one of the most influential British films of it's generation, and a brilliantly psychological subversion of the thriller format, as well as carrying a controversial theory that it had an un-simulated sex scene. It's a film that lives up to it's lofty reputation though, as Nicholas Roeg did indeed construct a film both unsettling and cerebral here, exploring a couple's grief, and using the city of Venice as the most Freudian playground. Rich with recurring themes of precognition and gender communication, Roeg applied a fragmented editing style to the film that was almost unheard of for the day, but now has become familirized by filmmakers like Danny Boyle and Daron Aronofsky. It's an elegant film too, even at it's most shocking and violent, and despite it's supernatural elements Don't Look Now feels closer to art house than horror. The aforementioned love scene (Donald Sutherland and Julie Christie were indeed rumored to be having an affair) is still graphic by today's standards, but it's cut and scored in a way that makes it both beautiful and thematically necessary, and it's easily on the short list for best movie sex scenes of all time. A masterpiece that has only grown more potent with age, as it surpasses all it's imitators.
February 24, 2015
The only horror more frightening than "Don`t look now" are some ratings and comments I read here. It`s always amazes me, that there is no boundary for stupidity.
½ February 23, 2015
I can't rate this film because I have no idea what it's really about. But I am gonna tell what I thought. (which I deduced from reading a little of Roger Ebert's review and reading about the original writer Maurier)

After the death of you know who & they movie to Venice the scars of what happened to there daughter (because they neglected her) comes out, be it in a supernatural way, as is hinted in the film, but I suppose that could also be seen as a big metaphor for lose of a loved one in a family. But I like Ebert's idea, because it was written by a woman who may have grown up in a time when women were not treated as equal as men, he writes that it may be a way of saying men are more skeptical and dim or faithless then woman. The blind- psychic women and the newly converted Laura try to tell him to move on and forgive himself and if he didn't he would met his end; the ending with the creepy old red coat may have been the filmmakers attempt at showing he killed himself with John's hallucination or imagination. I did not really enjoy this film to vague for me. Films with a twist ending; you are either on it like a fly on horseshit or not at all and the film losted my attention. (I have short attention-span) It caught me back by the end, which is why I needed to read Ebert's review and do a little research before I go head long into writing that this film is shit because I cant pay attention. If I was to rate I would say three stars, maybe four. I definitely need to re-watch this in the near future.
½ February 18, 2015
Utter garbage. A film that throughout I expected something to happen yet completely failed to deliver. Not a classic, not scary , not worth a watch
½ February 10, 2015
Imagine this: Youngish Donald Sutherland with a lot of curly, non white, hair, and absolutely no muscle on his body, having sex with Julie Christie of Dr. Zhivago (yes, disturbing image, I know!). Plus Venice, canals, cats, fog, murder, priest and a blind clairvoyant seeing a dead child. Somehow I was just not impressed...
February 5, 2015
Call me unsophisticated, but I thought this movie was extremely dated, boring, and completely devoid of anything scary.
January 21, 2015
Película de culto, más que nada por las escenas sexuales entre Julie Christie y Donald Shutherland, horror al estilo briánico de los 70's.
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