by David Ng
George Sluizer’s 1988 film The Vanishing (Spoorloos) occupies a rather unique spot in contemporary cinematic lore. The story of a young Dutch man Rex (Gene Bervoets) whose girlfriend Saskia (Johanna ter Steege) disappears while they’re vacationing in France, and who spends the next three years searching for her, The Vanishing was an international cult hit, spreading by word of mouth and critics’ nearly unanimous praise. It’s fame rests largely on the penultimate scene, a horrific fusion of dreams and phobias, in which Rex discovers, or shall we say, shares the fate of his beloved.
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