(kanopy/VOD) Well-known for director Nicolas Roeg, but certainly one of the lesser-known Daphne du Maurier (THE BIRDS, JAMAICA INN, MY COUSIN RACHEL, REBECCA, etc.) stories. A haunting thriller about a husband and wife in Venice, coping with possibly being haunted by their drowned daughter.
I initially saw part of it while on-the-job in college — many moons ago — but didn’t fully see it until relatively recently, after reading the original novella, and was glad I did, as I’d recently visited Venice and both the novella and film take place there.
Yes, the film is over forty years old, but it perfectly captures the atmosphere of the city, the verticality, the claustrophobia and overwhelming aging presence of the city’s architecture. Oh, and of course being constantly surrounded by water that threatens to swallow you up.
It’s an absolutely perfect setting for du Maurier — the master of detailing one’s attempts to maintain a relationship amongst metaphorical crumbling buildings — and Roeg captures it perfectly, while amplifying the thriller aspects that are somewhat lacking in the source material. The end may or may not work for you — it’s definitely something you’ll remember — but it’s authentic to the source.