Skip to main content

31 Days of Horror Movies: Don't Look Now

There can be some debate on what exactly constitutes "horror," and that's a fair argument to have. You've got your horror films, and then you've got your thrillers. Because you can have thrills in horror movies and horror in thrillers, I'd argue that there can be cross-overs between the two. That brings us to today's film....

Don't Look Now

Directed by Nicolas Roeg, and based on a story by Daphne du Maurier (often a Hitchcock favorite), Don't Look Now tells the story of a couple who are extremely vulnerable, because they have recently lost their daughter to an accidental drowning. John Baxter (Donald Sutherland) and his wife Sharon (Julie Christie) venture to Venice after their daughter's death, as John has been assigned there for a job. Then, things start to become creepy.

Laura is contacted by two sisters, one of whom is blind and claims to be psychic. She tells Laura that she is in contact with her dead daughter. This obviously freaks Laura out. John is skeptical of the sisters' claims, and also distracted, as he has a job to do in Venice. But, as Laura's state becomes more fragile, John decides to investigate. And then he keeps seeing a small person dressed in a red coat -- a red coat not unlike their daughter's -- running through the streets of Venice.

It is my contention that Don't Look Now is indeed a horror film. It features two necessary elements: horror and vulnerability. It is particularly horrific for parents to lose their children, and so the film establishes this element from the start. And the characters of John and Laura Baxter are, indeed, vulnerable. This is made clear from their situation, and through the explicit sex scene between the two earlier in the film. Because as an audience, we identify sex as a vulnerable act.

Don't Look Now utilizes several tropes common to horror movies: a moody, grey color palette, dark and foreboding streets, an unnerving figure in the mist, creepy old women and of course the psychic element. Kudos should be given to cinematographer Anthony Richmond, as well as to director Nicolas Roeg, for creating a definitively creepy atmosphere for the film. It all comes together for one memorably uneasy experience.


Popular posts from this blog


Ok, we're now three-fourths of the way through this year's calendar, so I thought I'd rank the thirty-eight 2017 movies I've seen so far.

Here they are....

1. A Quiet Passion
2. Baby Driver
3. Dunkirk
4. Get Out
5. Kedi
6. A Ghost Story
7. Wonder Woman
8. Columbus
9. Brad's Status
10. Marjorie Prime
11. Maudie
12. Logan
13. Spider-Man: Homecoming
14. Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2
15. Brigsby Bear
16. Atomic Blonde
17. The Big Sick
18. Split
19. Kong: Skull Island
20. It
21. Wind River
22. A Cure for Wellness
23. The Hitman's Bodyguard
24. Norman
25. Kingsman: The Golden Circle
26. Logan Lucky
27. Alien Covenant
28. Ghost In the Shell
29. War for the Planet of the Apes
30. Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales
31. Life
32. Annabelle: Creation
33. Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets
34. My Cousin Rachel
35. Baywatch
36. The Bye Bye Man
37. mother!
38. It Comes at Night

It will be interesting to see what the last three months of the year brin…

If You Could Read My Mind

Dance clubs are a funny thing. They contain within their walls a life force and vibrancy sometimes unmatched anywhere else. When dusk settles and the lights come on, people will flood the dance floors to gyrate to music with hypnotic beats and songs about love, lust and fun at the disco. At gay bars, this sort of scenario usually increases ten-fold. It isn't for everyone, but for many it is a respite from the harsh realities of the real word. It is a place that isn't just a structure, but a sanctuary where folks -- minorities in their own communities -- can take shelter and unwind with abandon, at least for a few nighttime hours.
As someone who benefited greatly from such an aforementioned gay dance club, you can imagine my dismay at news of the closing of Chester Street Bar. In business for over three decades, gay-owned and operated, there was a time when C-Street (as it was known by most) was the only haven for those in the LGBT community, near and far, to enjoy themselves …


"Step out from the mask you stand behind Fearful lost and blind Time to take the time The pressure’s on you Hide away, hide away No tomorrow, just today"
- Brilliant, Ultravox
Today was National Coming Out Day, so of course it gives some pause for reflection on my own coming out story. It was in April 1993, my junior year of high school (go Chargers!). In the six years of writing this blog, I have alluded to how I came out, but never really delved into the intricacies of how it came about. What better day to do so than today?
My first (small) indications of homosexuality manifested in grade school. While in first grade, I thought a fifth grader looked cute. In fifth grade, I would stare, longingly, at a boy in class, until he caught me looking at him. There were some infatuations with boys in middle school, and a first sexual experience during freshman year of high school. Everything up to that point had been, for the most part, based in the physical realm. I liked the way certain…