“Ignore George Sluizer's own Hollywood remake in 1993, The Vanishing is a fascinating thriller in which three years after the mysterious abduction of his girlfriend (Johanna Ter Steege), Rex (Gene Bervoets) tracks down her kidnapper (Bernard-Pierre Donnadieu), a seemingly normal professor, and demands the truth about her disappearance.
After a tense opening (never has searching for a flashlight been so exhilarating), it's Raymond who actually forces the inevitable confrontation by contacting Rex through the mail, and it’s here we finally realise he’s actually a cold-hearted clinician of terror, chillingly promising to reveal the location of Saskia to help Rex finally get over his girlfriend’s vanishing.
His bizarre decision to do so transforms this already taut thriller into an absorbing masterpiece, allowing interesting personalities to step up to the plate as Sluizer weaves a story with a surprise around every corner. All three leads give strong performances, but Donnadieu stands out the most, bringing some real intensity and odd humour along for the ride. The screaming competition is ingenious, the final reveal as shocking today as it was when the film was first released – brilliant.” DW