The Horror Honeys: RIP George Sluizer...

RIP George Sluizer...



Dutch filmmaker George Sluizer may not be a household name in North America, but fans of independent horror likely know many of his movies. Director of slow-burn thrillers like The Vanishing and dramatic masterpieces like Utz, he was a greatly respected artist in the world of independent cinema. Sluizer passed away Saturday in Amsterdam at the age of 85.

The Vanishing, known as Spoorloos in its native country, stands alone as one of the most tense and beautifully constructed horror films in history. With perfect casting and one of the best twist endings ever, The Vanishing is still the perfect horror/thriller. While Sluizer adapted and directed an American remake himself, starring Jeff Bridges and Kiefer Sutherland, something was lost in the translation, and the original film is still the gold standard for movies of its kind.

My other favorite Sluizer project involved the amazing and beautiful and perfect River Phoenix (yes, the Honeys are fans). Sluizer was working on the film Dark Blood with Phoenix, but the project was shelved at 80% completion after Phoenix's tragic death. The rights to the film transferred to the insurance company when Dark Blood wasn't finished, and in 1999, they intended to just destroy the footage. Sluizer wouldn't allow that, and had the film back in his care within two days of the news. It was only when Sluizer was diagnosed with a dangerous brain aneurism that he did everything he could to make a coherent film out of Dark Blood. With the aid of his own voice-over narration, Phoenix's true final film premiered at the Netherland Film Festival in 2012. Without the tireless and dedicated efforts of Sluizer, we might never have seen Dark Blood.

RIP George Sluizer. You were a magnificent voice and brilliant visionary in the world of independent cinema...