Not a half-bad shot at Hitchcockian terror from the British, "And Soon the Darkness" exploits an apparent English fear of the French, as two British girls (Franklin, from "Legend of Hell House," and Dotrice) go on a biking trip across the French countryside.
When the two become separated after an argument, Franklin is left alone in an unfriendly French town. As she realizes her friend has disappeared, she isn't sure who to trust. Adding to the tension, there's news that a killer has been killing girls in the area for some years.
Director Fuest effectively uses the desolation and isolation of long stretches of open road to increase the sense of vulnerability of the two girls. The same sense was achieved with similar effect in Steven Spielberg's one and only true horror film, "Duel."
As a Frenchman in dark glasses seems to take an unhealthy interest in her, and with townsfolk totally unable to speak English, Franklin finds herself in any tourists' absolute nightmare. To hell with the French!
Some downplay the effectiveness of this film because of its slow pace. I find it only adds to the tension. They absolutely don't make 'em like this anymore. Anchor Bay did the right thing to release a remastered version to DVD in the early 2000s. It also played on American television in the 1970s, which is where most of us have probably seen it.