George Sluizer, who directed River Phoenix’s last movie, “Dark Blood,” as well as the acclaimed Dutch thriller “The Vanishing” and its American remake, died on Saturday in Amsterdam. He was 82.
Organizers of the Netherlands Film Festival and the Berlin International Film Festival announced the death, but did not specify the cause.
In a career that spanned five decades, Mr. Sluizer was probably best known for “Spoorloos” (“The Vanishing”), his 1988 thriller about a man’s quest to find out what happened to his girlfriend after she disappeared during a stop at a gas station. He said Stanley Kubrick had told him it was the most frightening film he had ever seen.
Mr. Sluizer also directed a 1992 American remake of “The Vanishing” starring Jeff Bridges, Sandra Bullock and Kiefer Sutherland, but it was less successful — in part, many have said, because its ending was less dark than the original’s.
His film “Dark Blood” was only two-thirds complete in 1993 when River Phoenix, its star, died of a drug-induced heart attack at 23. It remained untouched for years, but Mr. Sluizer saved it from destruction in 1998. In 2007, after he narrowly survived a tear in his aorta, he began editing an altered version of the film. It was finished in 2012 and shown at several film festivals.