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HOUR OF THE WOLF
1968 / Fantasy, Drama, Horror
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Directed by Ingmar Bergman
Written by Ingmar Bergman
Starring Max von Sydow, Liv Ullmann, Gertrud Fridh, Georg Rydeberg, Erland Josephson and Naima Wifstrand

While vacationing on a remote Scandinavian island with his younger pregnant wife, an artist has an emotional breakdown while confronting his repressed desires.

The following tags are associated with this movie: psychological
Hour of the Wolf (1968)
Review by Michael Mahoney

5 / 10
I'm not a big fan of experimental films. Antichrist was a film I rather disliked. Most of what I've seen from Cronenberg and Lynch, not to mention Tsukamoto, I've not particularly enjoyed. The same goes for this Ingmar Bergman classic. When I first saw it, I just had a massive headache afterward. This time around, I've grown to appreciate a bit more what it was going for, and they did that job well, but I still rather would have watched something a bit more coherent.

The story is simple: A man and his wife go to their small cottage on an island, and the man slowly begins losing it. He begins seeing bizarre people and experiencing intense paranoia. And he snaps.

Like I said, this movie does a very good job at showing us the bizarre spirits haunting our main character. Many of the scenes, while not outright terrifying, have an ominous, creepy atmosphere about them. And I truly do appreciate that.

What I cannot abide, however, are the random scenes cobbled up, not to mention the dialogue, much of which doesn't make sense. Indeed, such is a well-done portrayal of losing it on an isolated island, but it's not something I enjoy at all. On a positive note, I did enjoy how this movie was put together - the wife is being interviewed about her husband and her experience on the island, and so the majority of the story takes place as a flashback. It gave a pretty documentary feel to it, and I thought it came across as sort of cool.

That said, this isn't a film I enjoy, and while there are the occasional cool scenes (a man removing his eyes, for instance), it doesn't strike me as worth it. Despite being a Swedish classic, Vargtimmen (or Hour of the Wolf), probably isn't something I'd soon watch again. 5.5/10 (rounded down to 5/10 to fit site's format).
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