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The Eclipse Reviews

Page 2 of 8
June 18, 2014
in the same year that other 'eclipse' movie came out comes this quiet irish drama with the same name
February 16, 2014
This is a very very odd film, in part romance, in part something completely different. Very dream-like, ambling along aimlessly, then BANG, the path diverts. Interesting stuff.
October 30, 2013
The Eclipse (Conor McPherson, 2009)

After I hit paydirt with Outcast, the wonderful Scots urban fantasy picked up for US distribution by Bloody Disgusting not long ago, I figured I'd see what else the British Isles had in store for me. Ireland has been a solid, if not necessarily prolific, producer of good horror films over the past fifteen years (viz. Isolation or Dead Meat). The Eclipse, which boasts a cast headed up by Ciaran Hinds (There Will Be Blood), Aidan Quinn (Benny and Joon), and Iben Hjejle (Defiance) as the woman they're both in love with, seemed like just the thing with which to pass a gloomy, snowy Friday night. Unfortunately, it fell quite flat.

Hinds plays Michael Farr, a volunteer at a literary festival who is still reeling from the recent death of his beloved wife (Hannah Lynch in her only screen appearance to date). He is assigned as a driver for two visiting notables, paranormal researcher Lena Morrell (Hjelje) and horror novelist Nicholas Holden (Quinn). Holden, an American, is married, but the cat is away, and he's got his sights set on bedding Morrell. Michael, on the other hand, initially sees Morrell as a possible gateway to understanding why he sees-or believes he sees-the ghost of his wife, but he, too, begins to fall for her.

Ultimately, I believe The Eclipse is an attempt at the supernatural-drama subgenre that the Southeast Asian film market has honed to a fine edge, and that most of the rest of the world doesn't really know exists. It is unsuccessful, though I have no way of knowing whether to blame the original story (by Billy Roche) or its adaptation (by McPherson); either is possible. Another rewrite might have made it a bit more coherent and turned a collection of interesting scenes into a full story, but that rewrite never happened, and we got what we got. You can feel free to give this one a miss. **
July 30, 2013
A well-executed drama with a supernatural twist. The mood closer to Eastwood's Hereafter than to Shyamalan's Sixth Sense.
July 6, 2013
Its spine-tinglingly scare is not necessarily everywhere in the movie, but it is a good horror movie, and is fun watching mostly in the wee hours of the night.
July 5, 2013
Inaccurately billed as a thriller, this is actually quite a lovely little film about mourning and coming to terms with the ghosts - more figurative than literal - that haunt us.
March 17, 2013
a little too much art house, but not bad
January 28, 2013
Not what I expected but a very interesting mix of ghost story and romance. The cinematography is nice too and Ciaran Hinds is great.
December 23, 2012
Only because I have an unhealthy love for Ciaran Hinds, and for a few good pop out scares.
November 10, 2012
pretty downright dull...and all over the place.
October 2, 2012
Unusual ghost story beautifully set in Ireland with good performance by Ciaran
Hinds, one of my favorite Masterpiece Classic actors.
March 10, 2012
The cinematography in this film is really good. There are some TRUE genuine scares. But it's not a ghost story more than it's about people who are haunted.
September 27, 2012
Not bad but it never really got off the ground.
August 13, 2012
Boring -- 86 minutes feels like an eternity
September 3, 2012
Typical European movie, silent and gloomy.
M G.
May 1, 2012
A very solid ghost movie with a few genuinely creepy moments. The Eclipse is certainly not what I would consider a scary movie, rather a dark romance. The Eclipse is highlighted by great acting, especially from Ciaran Hinds. A solid film from Conor McPherson. At times, The Eclipse feels a bit uneven in both its developing romance and jolting insistence to create jumping scares at random moments, but overall, The Eclipse is an odd, yet very solid film.
March 31, 2012
A surprisingly effective dramatic ghost story. It has some genuinely creepy moments and some good jump moments along with real dramatic tension. It's also wonderfully and beautifully filmed. I'm gonna keep an eye on this director and see what else he has to offer.
Ken H.
February 4, 2012
Massive Spoilers!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

This is one of the stranger romance/horror movies I've seen.

The acting and directing was all solid but the overall tone of the movie is inconsistent and has no idea if it wants to be a horror, a romance, or both. It's basically a romance with jump scares thrown in to keep the audience's attention and to keep them from turning it off before they get to see what happens.

The scares certainly were effective, and one of them in particular was one of the most clever, original, and strange jump scares I have ever seen in a movie. It happens when the main character is driving in his car with chorus music playing in the background, all of a sudden a little boy pops up in the seat next to him and the music starts to get higher and higher until it eventually screams and there's your scare. It was such a bizarre moment that I almost thought that it was something that I imagined. I think for that scare alone is enough to recommend this movie.

I can't say this movie sucks and I can't really say exactly who it is intended for, but I guess if your in the mood for something really different and unlike any romance you've ever seen before, then you may want to check it out.

Super Reviewer

December 30, 2011
It's a funny thing when you watch something on the screen that seems entirely plausible and yet you don't believe it for a second. This is the rot that ruins this small film that celebrates (albeit in a somewhat odd manner) all things Irish.

Here you have two stories going on, and really two types of film at war with each other - a character driven, gentle story of a man trying to adjust to life without his wife, and the occasional creepy, gotcha, type of horror film. The two cannot coincide, which is one of the film's flaws, but has nothing to do with the unbelievability factor. No, sadly, what is unbelievable is the odd love (and it isn't really love at all) triangle between Ciaran Hinds' character Michael (the aforementioned widower), Aidan Quinn's arrogant, needy American Author Nicholas (and why is it that the smarmy guy always has to be the American?), and Lena, a Brit writer of the ghost story which gives the film its name.

While one can certainly nod ones head and admit that yes, everything that happens between the three is grounded in reality - for some reason it just doesn't play real, especially the scene where a drunken Quinn challenges the quiet and stoic Hinds to fisticuffs. Yes, it could happen, and yes it probably would play out as the amateurish match that follows, but there's just something about the whole thing that's off putting and out of place; just as the ghost story doesn't really dovetail well with the rest of the film.

There's a huh? scene that takes place in the cemetery of an old ruined church to consider. Lena asks Hinds if he's ever imagined what it would look like to have your name on a headstone. Hinds replies that he doesn't need to imagine as he points out his father's grave (and you discover that Michael is a junior). Lena then awkwardly asks if Hinds' wife is also buried in the graveyard and Hinds replies, "no, she's somewhere else." A moment later we are shown that, indeed, Hind's wife is buried in the cemetery after all.

I suppose we are to surmise that Hinds is saying that his wife isn't really dead at all - as she "haunts" (and that's a pretty loose term in this instance) him and is therefore alive to him as she controls his life by leaving him in a permanent state of melancholy.

I really understand that Hinds character is broken, and that Quinn's is just a needy boor who somehow thinks he's entitled to whatever his minds craves at that moment. He doesn't really care about Lena, just thinks he does, and her denial makes him want her all the more, like a child who is told that he can't have an ice cream cone. But does this make for riveting film watching? Sadly, no.

I mentioned earlier that the film is very Irish. By that I mean it comes across like a Dylan Thomas poem, taking its time as it weaves its tapestry. It shows the slow filling of an empty room and all sorts of imagery meant to convey feeling and atmosphere, but come off, at least in my mind, as rather simplistic and overstated. The film takes the time to recite a passage out of Lena's ghost novel, which reveals a certain tone and theme concerning the belief in ghosts, but also comes across as a "look what I wrote" bit of ham fisted screenplay. The ham fistedness continues when Hinds' father in law states that, while he knows the sadness of losing a wife, losing a daughter makes you wonder if there is a god. Of course he is looking out the window at the church across the street as he utters this little pearl of wisdom.

The film also contains a scene in which Hinds is driving Lena and she exclaims "oh, what beautiful scenery, can we stop." I'm sure the Ireland Board of Tourism appreciated the gesture, but I'm certain that they could have found, or filmed a more breathtaking bit of scenery to display than what they actually showed. A letdown, just like the film, in spite of the solid performance by Hinds.
November 21, 2011
A well acted commentary on guilt.
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