While picnicking at an ancient volcanic outcrop on St. Valentine's Day, 1900, three young girls and their teacher at a prim Australian boarding school vanish, last seen scaling a rock by a puzzled classmate. While the police investigate, horribly unnerved headmistress Mrs. Appleyard (Roberts) tries to quell any loose talk that could threaten her school's livelihood, but the authorities' fruitless searches yield more questions than answers.
Spooky, intriguing, and transfixing, "Picnic" is a blend of low-grade supernatural horror and mystical Victorian fable, wrapped around an ineffable puzzle that refuses to yield its secrets. Weir gets a lot of mileage out of the repressive turn-of-the-century milieu, especially when it comes to hushed suggestions of sexual transgression among the vanished (and almost mythically virginal) girls, while the film's eerie pan-flute score enhances the general atmosphere of foreboding. Beautifully photographed and stubbornly ambiguous, "Rock" is an alluring choice if you're in the mood for something eccentric and off the beaten path.