DON’T LOOK NOW (1973): Short on scares and not as profound as it wants to be

DOn'tIt is probably my fault that I believed, without reservations, the high praises Don’t Look Now received from the so-called top critics online. Believe me, I wanted to love the film for its impressive style and atmosphere, but unfortunately, that alone can’t compensate for its inept plot that started out as enigmatic, but ended up as pure horse shit.

John and Laura lost their daughter in a drowning accident. They went to Venice for a job that John was contracted with. While eating at a restaurant, Laura met two old sisters (one is psychic but blind) who claimed they see the ghost of their daughter. Laura believed them. John did not.


Meanwhile, John is being troubled by apparitions. The two old sisters warned Laura that John’s life is in danger. He kept on seeing a red caped girl who resembles the image of her daughter at a dark alley.  Later on, Laura fled back to England to check on their other kid. The same day, John thought he saw Laura with the two sisters riding an adorned boat. He was worried. Apparently, there’s a killer on the loose. He then consulted the police. The two old sisters were brought in for questioning. They were released briefly after John confirmed that Laura is where she’s supposed to be. Laura returned to Venice.  John, after taking the other blind sister home, saw the red caped girl and followed her at a deserted building. It turns out that she’s not their dead daughter. She’s an old ugly dwarf who’s on a murder spree. Upon confrontation, she slits John’s throat. They had a procession by the river. The end.

I read somewhere that the movie is filled with symbols and subtexts, and that it’s about dealing with grief and premonitions. Well, meditation on this-that or not, the problem for me is the story as a whole is not compelling nor interesting enough to be given two shits about.  It really was not able to struck a chord in me because there isn’t much to chew on. The worst part of it all is it didn’t even scare me once. It’s a goddamn horror movie! While I do appreciate the oftentimes eerie mood and the enigmatic Venice setting, it didn’t amount to anything that’s gonna cut through the bone. And let’s not talk about that ending. That might be the most atrocious joke that I have ever seen in my entire life. I’m sorry, but I’m just not gonna get scared by an ugly dwarf, even by one who has a butcher knife in hand.

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