The movie is influenced by Hitchcock without being too imitative. It lacks the sure touches of the master, which pervade all elements of his films right down to the small details.
My application of the noir-o-meter gives 88/200, which suggests it falls short of being a noir.
I rate it about 6/10, maybe a little higher, like 6.5. It's not bad. It's more subtle than many thrillers.
Femme fatale/homme fatale or other “peril-inducing” character(s): 10/15. The screenplay by Brian Clemens makes just about every person encountered a suspect or ambiguous. They do not all cause peril, but there is suspicion that they might. Logic can reduce the number to about 4. What I heard in French cast strong suspicion on one person midway through the story. Our knowledge aside, the presence of a murderer is a strong peril-inducing element.
Morally ambiguous characters: 3/5. The murderer of course is in this category. Several of the others are questionable too, by lying or perhaps covering up.
Alienated protagonist: (This means feeling isolated or estranged.) Yes, certainly. Pamela Franklin is extremely isolated as she attempts to find her friend, Michele Dotrice. The language barrier does this. She doesn't know what others know and she doesn't know whom to trust. The countryside is lonely and isolated too, adding to her problem. At times she's separated from her bicycle. 5/5
A dupe or a fall guy: 0/5
Violence relative to character development/interaction: 7/10. Overt physical violence is present but modest in scope. There is intense emotional violence toward the end. There is also the isolation and intimidation of Franklin and earlier, of Dotrice.
Characters trapped by past events: 5/10. The key event in the past is their decision to bicycle in this rural region and along this road. They are exposed to a number of risks. Once in this situation, we are made to feel that they are on their own and unable to secure help easily.
Degree of character triangulation: 4/10. This is implicit. The missing Dotrice is one vertex, Franklin is a second, and every person that Franklin meets who is a suspect makes a third.
Total character elements: 34.
Black-and-white cinematography: 0/10. If this is removed for neo-noirs in color, it's still low. This film has no special use of color.
Low-angle shooting/expressionistic techniques: 0/5.
A sense of fatalism: 12/20. The visuals bring this out strongly in much of the film in a number of ways calculated to emphasize entrapment and danger.
Use of extreme mise-en-scene (claustrophobic/barren): 8/10
Use of mise-en-scene to produce alienation: 4/5. There is a surprising amount of this that uses closeups of people and certain objects.
Odd camera angles or visual effects/sequences: 2/5. There is some, not much, but it's quite effective.
An urban setting: 0/10
Barren and/or exotic setting: 5/5
Night club and/or gambling setting: 0/5
Total visual elements: 31 points
A convoluted storyline: 5/5. The confusion of Franklin is mirrored by the story's movements that take her back and forth over certain ground, while encountering a handful of people in non-linear ways.
Use of flashbacks: 0/10. There is an effective scene near and in a cemetery in which one character looks at the grave of the earlier victim.
A murder or heist at the center of the story: 5/5
A betrayal or double-cross: 0/5
Story told from the perspective of the criminals: 0/5
False accusation or fear of same: 0/5
Sexual relationships with respect to plot development: 7/10. There is one scene of attempted rape. We learn that the first victim was raped. Both young women wear shorts, and the camera makes sure we see plenty of leg. Dotrice has a bare midriff and lays in the sun fetchingly. In these ways, the sexual element is brought out.
A spoken narrative: 0/5
Hard-boiled dialogue/repartee: 0/5
Bleakness of denouement: 6/10. One girl dies and her upside-down body is emphasized.
Total plot/screenwriting element points: 23
Grand total: 88/200