AND SOON THE DARKNESS (1970) Reviews and overview

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And Soon the Darkness is a 1970 British psycho-thriller feature film directed by Robert Fuest (The Devil’s Rain; The Abominable Doctor Phibes and Doctor Phibes Rises Again) from a screenplay by Terry Nation and Brian Clemens (Captain Kronos: Vampire Hunter; The Avengers). Starring Pamela Franklin, Michele Dotrice and Sandor Eles, it tells the story of two young English women on a cycling holiday in France, who run into difficulties. The movie was remade in 2010.


And Soon the Darkness will be released on Blu-ray and DVD by Kino Lorber Studio Classics on October 15, 2019. The film been newly mastered in 4K and features reversible artwork. Special features:

  • Audio commentary by director Robert Fuest and co-writer Brian Clemens, moderated by journalist Jonathan Sothcott
  • Audio commentary by film historian Troy Howarth
  • Theatrical trailer
  • Radio spot


Along the straight and dusty roads of rural France cycle two young women on holiday – Jane (Pamela Franklin) and Cathy (Michele Dotrice). Their holiday is soon to go horribly wrong when Cathy disappears.

and soon the darkness

A sinister young man that claims he is a detective…an unsolved murder that took place some years before…a sex killer at large…waiting, watching perhaps? Questions that hang in the arid air of this late summer’s day…



“Director Robert Fuest is always interesting, pushing for unusual but effective cinematography, set design and story ideas. Here there aren’t any of his usual stylish sets, instead, he uses the sparse locations, constantly achieving dramatic effects with subtle lighting and framing.” Black Hole

“I could go on forever about the fantastic camerawork (take a bow Ian Wilson) which roves and slowly glides across the French landscape, conveying at once a sense of tranquil beauty AND an undercurrent of brooding menace. And without knowing it, between them, he, Fuest and Clemens were pioneering a whole new style.” Drewe Shinon, Britmovie

And Soon the Darkness is an expertly crafted exercise in subtle fright. There are enough twists and turns to keep one involved right up until the end and all of the performances are dead (pardon the pun) on target. Plain and simple, this film is cool without being excessive or exploitative and I can dig that.” Lawrence P Raffel, Monsters at Play

“The French language notedly does not come subtitled so the viewer feels the same sense of alienation that the girls do. The script is no different from a dozen other psycho-thrillers but Brian Clemens and Terry Nation do a decent job of twisting and turning it, leaving us unsure who Pamela Franklin should be trusting.” Richard Scheib, Moria


“Until the disappearance and for a while afterward everything goes very well toward building tension with understated effects. But eventually, by mere repetition, the understated effects begin to look like poverty of the imagination.” Roger Greenspun, The New York Times, April 5, 1971

“There’s a sense of dread isolation overhanging the proceedings, and Fuest is able to capture this with some interesting camera work and use of dialogue. His camera always seems to be roving about in a voyeuristic manner and often captures objects and people that intrude into the frame, which creates a sense of unease and distrust even in what we’re seeing.” Brett Gallman, Oh, the Horror!

“Slow pacing that is now to be cherished, excellent performances, realistic scenarios. The dizzying sun-drenched French countryside only contributes to the atmosphere of alienation. Superbly subtle and effective thriller.” The Terror Trap


Cast and characters:

  • Pamela Franklin … Jane
  • Michele Dotrice … Cathy
  • Sandor Elès … Paul
  • John Nettleton … Gendarme
  • Clare Kelly … Schoolmistress
  • Hana Maria Pravda … Madame Lassal (as Hana-Maria Pravda)
  • John Franklyn … Old Man
  • Claude Bertrand … Lassal
  • Jean Carmet … Renier

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