And Soon the Darkness Film Details
Overview: Two young English women go on a cycling tour of the French countryside. When one of them goes missing, the other begins to search for her. But who can she trust?
Tagline: Remember the way Hitchcock kept you on the edge of your seat…?
Review: I saw this film for the first time in nearly forty years recently and was surprised at how well it stood up. When I saw it as a teenager I had thought the ending a bit corny but that the first 90 minutes up to the revelation as to identity of the killer were as tense as almost any film I had seen up to that point of my life that was not called Psycho. I have seen several tenser films since that night long ago but the ending was better than I gave it credit for too. The plot is simple enough. Two young English girls are on a biking holiday round France and they have different agenda for their trip. One, Kathy, is blonde and there for a party and to meet blokes whilst the other, Jane, is more sensible and apparently intent on doing a mileage similar to that of a rider in the Tour De France. Kathy takes a fancy to a suave young man, Paul, in a café and when Paul follows the girls on his Lambretta and the girls stop for a sunbathe Kathy falls out with Jane at least partly we suspect because she hopes Paul will double back to meet her. Jane goes on for a while then returns to her friend and discovers that she has disappeared. Paul arrives on the scene, conveniently, and tells her that he is a detective. Gradually Jane comes to disbelieve him and flees to the office of the local gendarme. Paul tracks her down and she escapes his desperate, threatening attempts to speak to her. She finds Cathy’s dead body, bashes Paul on the head and rushes into the arms of the gendarme and then realises that he, not Paul, is the killer. The film ends with two more girls on bikes cycling through a rain storm whilst a police car heads towards the crime scene. The film looks great, the scenes of these two attractive young women cycling through the sunlit corn fields are idyllic and the growing menace is very well done. We know something has happened but not quite what. The locals seem an increasingly bizarre lot partly because the lack of subtitles makes us identify with an increasingly anxious Jane as we have no idea if they are hostile or not. And that damn Paul keeps turning up when he shouldn’t. As I watched the film again I was reminded of the later Franco-Dutch classic Spoorloos ( The Vanishing) whilst the discovery of Cathy’s body is like Jamie Lee Curtis in the wardrobe near the end of the original Halloween. And Soon The Darkness lacks the psychological insights of The Vanishing and is not as genuinely scary as Carpenter’s slasher masterpiece but it is well done. Paul is played by Sandor Eles who was for many of us best remembered as Mr Paul the Maitre’D in the chronically bad soap Crossroads but he is fine here and John Nettleton as the gendarme is convincing and a million miles from his affable gossipy mate of Sir Humphrey in Yes, Minister. The two girls are good too. Michelle Dotrice as Kathy is best remembered as Frank Spencer’s wife Betty but she looks good and is credible as the slightly sillier girl whilst Pamela Franklin is terrific as she gets more and more scared.You never stop wanting her to find her friend and when she is saved at the end I breathed a sigh of relief. And Soon The Darkness is not a great film though it certainly deserves a better reputation with critics for the ‘guides’ who seem to have based their sniffy reviews on the synopsis and the knowledge that the director, Robert Fuest, and writers, Brian Clemens and Terry Nation, had extensive backgrounds in pot boiler British television of the sixties and seventies. Not great but worth catching.
Country: United Kingdom, France
Language: English, French
Duration: 94 min
Genre: Horror, Mystery, Thriller
Also known as: Tödliche Ferien,Ennen hämärää,Otan epese to skotadi,Joshi daisei: kyôfu no saikuringu bakansu,И скоро наступит тьма,…és hamarosan a sötétség,The Monster of the Country Road,And Soon the Darkness,Avant le Crépuscule,Nóttin dettur á,Il mostro della strada di campagna,Va Bezoodi Tariki,Skräck i sol,De repente, la oscuridad,Før mørket faller,Y pronto vino la obscuridad