The Eclipse - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Eclipse Reviews

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½ September 4, 2012
Hey! It's the guy who played Julius Caesar in the HBO series, "Rome." And holy crap, are there some creepy scenes in this movie. This isn't a horror movie; it's a dramatic romantic creepy movie that is a feast for the eyes.
September 4, 2012
Typical European movie, silent and gloomy.
May 2, 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.
½ 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.
maxthesax
Super Reviewer
½ 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.
½ November 21, 2011
A well acted commentary on guilt.
October 12, 2011
Acting was very good but the story dragged.
October 9, 2011
You had me at "Ireland" and "supernatural." The film had some touching moments, and CiarĂ¡n Hinds was well-cast as the strong yet vulnerable patriarch. But overall this movie did not nearly live up to what it might have been. The director's main mistake was conflating a ghost story with a horror story. The horror elements just added cheese.
September 4, 2011
A small drama reasonably acted with jump scares awkwardly grafted onto it. Nothing special.
½ September 3, 2011
Watched this on Netflix streaming tonight. I forgot it was a supernatural thriller and totally jumped out of my skin 3 times. Only 90 min. long but you get to know the characters and care about them so you feel like it's a drama and then BAM! The frights are well done and don't make the movie cheesy. Main female role is Iben Hjejle who played John Cusak's girlfriend in High Fidelity.
½ August 20, 2011
It's more romance/drama than horror, but each element works well. We genuinely care about the characters and many of the scares are truly unnerving. It also benefits from the beautiful Irish scenery.
Super Reviewer
½ July 31, 2011
This was a really good movie. It has a quiet dignity to it that most 'thrillers' don't have. Then again, this movie is mostly a romance, and it does that in a very nice and believable way. It's a character driven romance thriller. There's also some decent scares thrown in there, so it's an intriguing mix. The supernatural stuff doesn't, initially mix in with the rest of the movie, but by the end it ends up working. So that's it...a really good movie that's better than I was expecting.
July 20, 2011
Michael is a father of two children and is in a depressive state since the death of his wife several years ago. He and his children live in a small town of Cobb in Ireland. Attempting to adjust and keep on living, Michael volunteers for the towns annual literary festival where he meets Lena, a writer whose books deal with the supernatural, but in a very natural realistic way. As Michael and Lena begin to become closer Michael begins to see things that he cannot explain only that they might be ghosts. The Eclipse is not a horror film by any means, but a character-driven film which focuses on Michael's path to exorcise his own demons and move on with his life. The film plays almost like a romance film but when the scary moments come, they are very effective. The cinematography is fantastic really creating this eery since of depression even in such a beautiful location in Ireland. Many scenes the characters are back-lite to the point in which they are basically silhouettes, lots of wide open space is present throughout to really visually show Michael's segregation, emotionally, from the outside world. Anyone who goes into this movie expecting a horror film will be severely disappointed, but its a great film regardless.
FilmFanatik
Super Reviewer
June 19, 2011
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.
½ June 3, 2011
A man (Ciaran Hinds) living in a scenic seaside Irish town grieves the death of his wife; and finds himself literally haunted by his suicidal father-in-law. When a writer's conference is held in this town, our widower meets an attractive woman author (Iben Hjejle). She specializes in penning emotionally meaningful ghost stories. Perfect! Ahhh, but another writer (Aidan Quinn)--a conceited ass--also has designs on the lady. So we have a clumsily assembled Love Triangle to deal with. Honestly, it would have been better to stick to the ghost story theme--we might have wound up with something as good as The Sixth Sense. For example, is there a reason why the father-in-law would like to drag his son-in-law down into perdition? Maybe some blame associated with the death of their daughter/wife? That's left unexplored. But enough about Conor McPherson's mediocre script. The cinematography by Ivan McCullough is excellent. Not just because of the attractive subject matter--I mean in terms of the angles, camera movement, and creative use of contrast. Unfortunately the musical score is pretty inept. Especially the use of the boys choir...man, that's grating. Re: the acting, the revelation here is our female lead Iben Hjejle. I'd like to see much more of her in future. Attractive, well-spoken, authentic. (She does constantly look as if she hasn't had a good night's sleep; but that suits her character here). The male lead Ciaran Hinds is barely adequate; surely even little ol' Ireland could've cast someone more interesting, attractive and empathy-engendering! The best-known of the three, Aidan Quinn, has a large supporting role he plays well until the hoaky "showdown" fight over the girl. There he's overacting all over the place though I'm not sure how that unlikely escalation of events could've been done more naturally anyway...
June 1, 2011
A brilliant horror drama for the most part. A bit slow at times, but it's scares work so well here that it's hard not to feel compleately engaged throughout. Worth a look for any fan of horror.
May 19, 2011
A beautiful look at Cobh.
Super Reviewer
½ April 26, 2011
The Eclipse is such a refreshing blend of horror and drama.The world needs more films that can present a mature subject matter and ground itself in reality, then surprise with some authentic scares. The acting and plotting are very understated, when mixed with such a detailed eye for cinematography and lighting it makes for something very engaging and fun to watch.
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