Adding mostly fiction to an original story The Vanishing is based on an
incident in December 1900 where three lighthouse keepers’ mysteriously
disappeared from a lighthouse off the Scottish Coast.
The story sees three men – Thomas (Peter Mullan), James (Gerard Butler) and
Donald (Conner Swidells) beginning their six week stint on a light house 30
miles off the Scottish Coast. You immediately get a sense that things
aren’t going to go well for the trio because as soon as they step on the
island the outgoing light house keeper tells them that “the radios not
working and the mercury is leaking in the lamp house”.
After they settle in and we find out a bit about each mans’ background,
Thomas is mourning the loss of his wife, James is missing his family and
Donald is on the island for the first time, they come across a dead body
and a box, which they don’t initially open.
Curiosity eventually gets the better of the men and they open the box to
find it contains a number of gold bars. Unfortunately for them the dead man
and his cargo is missed and two strangers arrive on the island looking for
The Vanishing is pretty good up to the point where the two strangers
arrive, after that the storyline turns into a bit of a slow physiological
thriller as the three lighthouse keepers succumb to paranoia and jealousy.
Other than a slow final third The Vanishing is worth a look if you come
across it during its limited release in cinemas.
UK Release: Friday 29th March 2019