This review is for the Criterion Collection DVD edition of the film.
This film, often mistakenly belived to be based on a true story, which it is not, is set on Valentine's day in the year 1900.
This film is based on the book by Joan Lindsay.
A group of adolescent girls go on a boarding school trip to Hanging Rock, a volcanic outcropping in southern Australia. 3 of the girls and one of the teachers climb to the top and vanish. a week later one of them is found but not a trace remains of the others.
The linear notes by Vincent Canby that come with the DVD say it best. "Horror need not always be a long-fanged gentleman in evening clothes or a dismembered corpse or a doctor who keeps a brain in his gold fish bowl."
This film remains one of my favorite "horror" movies. Even with no on screen deaths or bodies, it remains one the most frightening PG rated films.
The film leaves more questions than answers.
A remark made to one of the girls before she vanished, "You look like a Botticelli angel" by a classmate, could be an indication that the girls are not of this world but would not explain why one of them returns unharmed.
The girls' spellbound trance-like state as they ascend to the summit could indicate that they are drawn to the top by a "Pied Piper" kind of entity.
The musical score of this film adds to its incredible storyline and has a great effect on the viewer. I love the music in this film but unfortunately there is no soundtrack available.
This is one of my favorite movies and is very mystifying and though-provoking.
This is also the first English language film in the Criterion collection to include English subtitles for the deaf and hearing impared.
Sadly the Criterion edition curently has no audio commentary, and the only special feature is the theatrical trailer. I certainly hope that they will release a new version with commentary as this film certainly deserves the treatment.