This creepy 1973 film is more psychological thriller than flat out horror, but I’d say the film as a whole is pretty horrific and unsettling.
After the accidental drowning death of their daughter, Donald Sutherland and Julie Christie take a business trip to Italy so he can restore a church. While there, they encounter two sisters, one of whom is blind and claims to be clairvoyant (she’s totally terrifying.) The psychic sister informs the couple that their deceased daughter is trying to warn them of some impending danger. Sutherland dismisses them at first, but soon starts seeing what he believes is his little daughter — recognizable by her little red raincoat — all around Venice. Soon, they seem to be surrounded by danger, from accidents while restoring the church to reports of a serial killer prowling the streets.
Christie goes back to the states after she’s informed that their son has been in an accident. Sutherland, now alone, goes in search of ‘his daughter’, and the results are truly terrifying.
Like Pet Sematary after it, this film explores the emotions that go along with losing a child and the psychological effect it has on a parent: what lengths will they go to for closure, and how much danger will they put themselves in? The answer is usually “far too much”, resulting in even more tragedy than to begin with.
Though a British production, the film has a very Italian feel — and not just because it was shot in Venice. The use of color is important in the film, and it was shot and edited very stylistically. And if ratings are your thing, this film got a “95% fresh” rating on Rotten Tomatoes. So there’s that.