The foregrounds of this film seem to be of a mist permeated with a sort of green vase; once it rises, we are with a small family on a fishing trip. One of the two little girls is separated from her sister and her parents and falls on a young boy with a square piece of gauze on one eye. He is a discouraging figure, and he is soon followed by more disconcerting adult figures, obscured by the foliage. The girl is not sure what is going on, but she and we understand that anything was bad.
Decades later, Abby, the witness (Tuppence Middleton), had to sell the shaky motel in Niagara Falls. Sister Laure (Hannah Gross) completely agrees. Abby keeps an attachment and doesn’t like the third generation corporate hotshot that wants ownership. His haunted memories are linked to his story, and his suspicions, in turn, are nurtured by Walter, a local podcaster, a so-called historian and conspiracy theorist. He played with a funny understatement by David Cronenberg. The entrance to Cronenberg – he emerges from a lake in a dry suit and full diving equipment – is one of the most remarkable of recent genre cinema, in part because the robust performer is 76 years old.
This intriguing film has quite a few twists and turns, and they are all beautifully crafted. But overall, they tend to move away from the strongest feature in the film, which is the damp and scary atmosphere maintained almost everywhere by Albert Shin, the director and co-writer. However, for patient or indulgent fans of idiosyncratic thrillers, “disappearance” can produce satisfying spills and chills.
Disappearance at Clifton Hill
Unclassified. Duration: 1 hour 40 minutes.