TONIGHT'S LITTLE CAST Barney - Jeff Bridges Jeff - Keifer Sutherland Rita - Nancy Travis Diane - Sandra Bullock Lynn - Park Overall
THE SETTING A peaceful little drive through the Pacific northwest
THE CRIME Girls are coming up missing and Barney is the culprit (established early, I'm not giving this away)
THE STORY We open with shots of Barney, a married man by the way, practicing a kidnapping. He rehearses it in minute detail. Flash to a couple driving through the Pacific northwest - Jeff and Diane - and stopping at a gas station for drinks and a rest break. After a little playful interaction, Diane goes into the station for soft drinks and is never seen again.
Obsessed, Jeff begins a three year journey to discover the whereabouts of his girlfriend, plastering her picture in papers and on billboards. Appearing on television, begging for information and help. Defeated and deflated, he stops in a restaurant and meets Rita, who recognizes him from his television appearances and his diligent search for his girlfriend. Love blooms, etc etc etc.
Unable to forget Diane, not that he is still in love with her, but the fact that he failed in finding her, Jeff continues his quest. Rita tiring of his obsession, leaves him. Barney, seeing his latest television blurp shows up at his apartment and confesses he is the one that abducted Diane years ago. After a thorough beating from Jeff, Barney tells him he will take Jeff to Diane, but only if he follows the same course Diane took.
Again the parking lot of the gas station, Jeff is forced to drink coffee containing a drug, as did Diane years earlier. He awakens, buried in a box, facing every fear known to man. Barney has gone on his way.
Unknown the them all, Rita has returned and is looking for Jeff. Somehow, I have never quite figured out how she became so adept at it, she tracks Barney down to his home. Arriving just in time to find his daughter sneaking out, she offers a ride and learns of the cabin where she figures Jeff is being held hostage. She arrives at the cottage and tells Barney she has abducted his daughter (who actually is out hoing around with her boyfriend) which is confirmed by Barney's wife.
In a cruel and just twist of fate, Rita forces Barney to the same trials and tribulations that he has subjected Diane and Jeff to in an attempt to find Jeff's body. Not realizing the drug is slow acting, she rushes from the cabin to find Jeff but is assaulted by Barney. Jeff miraculously arises in time to off Barney and justice prevails. Sadly, as Barney falls to the ground he lands on the grave of Diane, and that disappearance is also solved.
Adapted from a Dutch thriller by the same name, it has been Americanized for the tastes and styles of the viewing audience. In the Dutch version, Jeff does not recover and is not found, but the American audience prefers a happy ending. A chilling and visual encounter with a few nice twists and turns. Bridges gives a truly superb performance, chilling you to the bone with his plodding dedication to his evil end. Sutherland is tireless in his attempt to locate Diane and Nancy Travis is one tough lady! A good watch.
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Susi Dawson (SusiDee34)
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A man becomes obsessed with finding his girlfriend after she is abducted by a methodical, calculating psychopath. To learn the truth about her disappearance, he puts his fate in the hands of the abductor himself! A re-make of director Sluizer's own French-Dutch production.