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The Vanishing - Devil's Advocates Book Project


I'm currently working on my new book project, on George Sluizer's 1988 Dutch-Belgian film Spoorloos (English language translation: The Vanishing) for Devil's Advocates, an imprint of Liverpool University Press dedicated to exploring classic and cult horror cinema. Contributions to the series cover production histories of iconic films while examining movies within the context of horror's wide-ranging and provocative cinematic history.


My book will focus on Spoorloos which, when released in the United States in 1990, became one of the National Board of Review's Top Foreign Films of the year. Press reviewers were celebratory: 'disturbing' (Janet Maslin, 1991), 'horrifying' (Roger Ebert, 1991), and 'Hitchcockian' (Michael Wilmington, 1990). Spoorloos attracted limited criticism from horror film reviewers on its initial release due to interpretations of the film as a Hitchcockian-style thriller. However, in the past ten years, critics have begun revisiting Spoorloos as a neglected work of horror filmmaking. This book will be the first stand-alone book-length study that explores Spoorloos' thematic and generic contribution to horror cinema. It argues that Spoorloos was produced from within a rich and provocative European film culture, considering how the film adapts conventions from realist and psychological horror traditions and anticipates experimental narrative structures in European horror cinema in the 1990s.

I'll add more information soon, as this project develops.

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