Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Picnic at Hanging Rock, d. Weir

1900 Austrailia. A group of girls from an all girl prepatort school go out for a picnic. 4 girls disappear. 1 is later found but doesn't remember a thing.

It may sound ridiculous to say, but Picnic at Hanging Rock is about everything that I wish a suspense movie to be. From the opening shot straight through the end of the movie there is an air of suspense that does not let up.

If the viewer actually allows their mind to wander, there are about 1000 explinations for what could have happened, and where these girls could have disappeared too. The thing is through the storytelling, and through the search for the girls, almost none of these thoughts is discounted or eliminated. It could be what you think, it could be something different alltogether.

Each time the camera comes back to Hangin Rock I was watching closely looking for a sign, looking for some sort of clue, but really, there is none. There are no scary monsters, no goblins, no gratuitous shots of blood. Yet, through the ridiculously haunting score, or maybe the way the light catches the rocks, or maybe the rigidity of the characters in their 1900 way of communicating there are more than a few uncomfortable moments.

There are many articles written on this movie, some of which talk about how supressed sexuality which to this viewer was very clearly apparent and gave the film a further eeriness. But, in the month of October, when it seems in vogue to watch some good thrillers or horror movies, this is one that I know I will find myself coming back to again and again. It's the air of mystery, the lack of closure that will have this film stand up to repeated viewings.


Arthur said...

Man, I remember seeing that movie a few years ago and being freaked out by it. I never could pin down why it was scary or whatever. Still can't. This makes me want to watch it again.

scot said...

It's definitely one of those that sticks with you and you look back on it trying to figure out why. The whole atmosphere and pacing of the story is brilliant. I absolutely love it.