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the vanishing

Director: Kristoffer Nyholm (Debut)

Gerard Butler, Peter Mullan, Connor Swindells, and Søren Malling


REVIEWER: lyall carter


Three lighthouse keepers on the remote Flannan Isles find a hidden trunk of gold, leading to their mysterious disappearance.

Often when movies miss the cinema and go straight to a home entertainment release, there’s a very good reason. But with other films, like The Vanishing, it just seems bizarre. Because The Vanishing is a taunt, physcological thriller with a great cast. 


On an uninhabited island 20 miles from the rugged Scottish coast, three lighthouse keepers arrive for their 6 week shift. As Thomas, James and Donald settle into their normal quiet routine, something unexpected, potentially life-changing occurs - they stumble upon gold. Where did it come from? Who does it belong to? A boat appears in the distance that might hold the answer to these questions - What follows is a tense battle for survival, fed by isolation, paranoia and greed, leading three honest men down a path to destruction.


The Vanishing is inspired by a true story. Inspired in that the films concept is based on the Flannan Isles mystery. In 1900 the three lighthouse keepers disappeared from the island without a trace. 


With that as our destination, the mystery of The Vanishing is how we, as the audience, end up there. And it’s pretty darn thrilling, anchored by haunting performances from Butler, Mullan, and Swindells. 


The story starts off simply. Three lighthouse keepers sent to an isolated island to begin their six week shift. If they had been left undisturbed everything would have gone smoothly. But one decision, that really wasn’t within their control to begin with, begins a downward spiral from which there is no return.

All three of the men start out as good, decent, salt of the earth kinda guys but one event sends them down a very dark path indeed. Witnessing their three different reactions is utterly chilling, but ultimately mesmerising. 

A small, taut thriller which explores the extraordinary lengths that normal men will go when pushed down a dark path.


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The Vanishing is available on DVD, Blu-ray, and digital from all good disc and digital retailers. 

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