The Vanishing (Spoorloos)


The Vanishing (Spoorloos)

Critics Consensus

A clinical, maddening descent into the mind of a serial killer and a slowly unraveling hero, culminating with one of the scariest endings of all time.



Total Count: 46


Audience Score

User Ratings: 10,257
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Movie Info

Based on Time Krabbe's The Golden Egg, The Vanishing is a deeply disturbing psychological thriller about a young man's search for his girlfriend after she disappears at a rest stop during a short trip. Over the course of three years, the man obsessively searches for her, using his spare time to put up posters and leave handbills, hoping that someone will give him a clue to the mystery surrounding her disappearance. The kidnapper, having watched the man for some time, is intrigued by his increasing obsession and finally contacts him. He then gives the man the opportunity to learn firsthand of his girlfriend's fate. The film, frightening and moving with a chilling conclusion, is a small masterpiece as director George Sluizer confronts and examines the true nature of evil and obsession. Sluizer remade The Vanishing in an American version four years after the release of the original Dutch film, inexplicably changing the shocking ending which gave the original film such power. ~ Linda Rasmussen, Rovi

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Gene Bervoets
as Rex Hofman
Johanna ter Steege
as Saskia Wagter
Bernard-Pierre Donnadieu
as Raymond Lemorne
Gwen Eckhaus
as Lieneke
Bernadette Le Saché
as Simone Lemorne
Lucille Glenn
as Gabrielle
Roger Souza
as Manager
Pierre Forget
as Farmer Laurent
Didier Rousset
as TV Journalist
as Gisele Marzin
David Bayle
as Lemorne (Age 16)
Eric Jacquet
as Pump Attendant
Aziz Djahnit
as Pump Attendant
as Lady `Prisunic'
Linda Wise
as English Tourist
Ian Magilton
as English Tourist
Mieke DeGroote
as Belgian Tourist
Jean Grandeau
as German Tourist
Faustine Wunsche
as Little Girl
Ghislaine Gazaix
as Hitchhiker
M. Martinez
as Cafe Owner
François Guizerix
as Cop/Sports Presenter
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News & Interviews for The Vanishing (Spoorloos)

Critic Reviews for The Vanishing (Spoorloos)

All Critics (46) | Top Critics (8)

  • It's an elegant, riveting piece of filmmaking.

    Aug 20, 2018 | Rating: 3.5/4 | Full Review…
  • The appalling, horrific climax of The Vanishing will haunt your mind long after this film is over.

    Oct 19, 2016 | Full Review…
  • It's a film that functions on curiosity rather than real interest (given the fact that the characters are thinly drawn and largely unsympathetic), yet in the end punishes the audience for wanting to have its questions answered.

    Oct 19, 2016 | Rating: 2/4 | Full Review…
  • Sluizer's direction is seamless throughout, effortlessly juggling domesticity and damnation as it ploughs inexorably towards an appaling dénouement.

    Jan 26, 2006 | Full Review…

    Mark Kermode

    Time Out
    Top Critic
  • Mr. Sluizer, whose direction has the spooky precision of nonfiction crime writing and whose matter-of-factness makes the characters seem quite real, builds a disturbing horror story from seemingly modest beginnings.

    May 20, 2003 | Full Review…
  • Director George Sluizer unfolds his story with non-hysterical -- but nonetheless unnerving -- precision. Vanishing is refreshingly free of manipulative scenes involving running bath water, jagged-edge cutlery and bunnies in the saucepan.

    Jan 1, 2000 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for The Vanishing (Spoorloos)

  • Aug 08, 2018
    Despite the fact that the characters (as well as the relationship between Rex and Saskia) are not so well developed, this is a spine-chilling thriller that relies on a gripping mystery and lets us slowly grasp the motivations of its fascinating villain toward a terrifying conclusion.
    Carlos M Super Reviewer
  • Oct 28, 2013
    Directors C Super Reviewer
  • Apr 10, 2013
    Far better than the Kiefer Sutherland remark, the original sizzles with a boyfriend following the trail of his girlfriend who went missing three years in the past. The direction is particularly solid.
    John B Super Reviewer
  • Feb 23, 2013
    The Vanishing is a subtly creepy and haunting look at a sociopathic man seeking to discover whether he is capable of committing an act of extreme evil without remorse. The film, like its unfeeling antagonist, is very methodical and carefully paced, slowly revealing the specifics behind a mysterious disappearance and the events leading up to it. The antagonist doesn't look or act like a clearly evil or deranged individual; he gives the impression of being just like everyone else. He has a wife and kids, an unremarkable appearance, and is overall very calm and ordinary in appearance. He doesn't stand out in a crowd, and this is what makes the film especially eerie and unnerving. The Vanishing is ultimately a meditation on the nature of evil, and it is not easily forgotten. You're not likely to forget the hauntingly bleak finale anytime soon.
    Joey S Super Reviewer

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