A Spell To Ward Off The Darkness

Critics Consensus

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Total Count: 19


Audience Score

User Ratings: 119
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Movie Info

A SPELL follows an unnamed character through three seemingly disparate moments in his life. With little explanation, we join him in the midst of a 15-person collective on a small Estonian island; in isolation in the majestic wilderness of Northern Finland; and during a concert as the singer and guitarist of a black met al band in Norway. - Marked by loneliness, ecstatic beauty and an optimism of the darkest sort, A SPELL is a radical proposition for the existence of utopia in the present. - Starring musician Robert AA Lowe (best known for his intense live performances under the name LICHENS) in the lead role, A SPELL lies somewhere between fiction and non-fiction - it is at once a document of experience and an experience itself, an inquiry into transcendence that sees the cinema as a site for transformation.(C) Official Site

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Critic Reviews for A Spell To Ward Off The Darkness

All Critics (19) | Top Critics (8)

  • Avant-garde cognoscenti are surely already in line, yet the film is accessible and often hypnotic on an intuitive level.

    Dec 4, 2014 | Full Review…
  • The atmosphere is mythic and pervasive. The imagery, of night and nature and dancing flames, seems ripped from liner notes. Even the title sounds like something you might see scrawled across a record sleeve in Gothic typeface.

    Dec 4, 2014 | Rating: B | Full Review…

    A.A. Dowd

    AV Club
    Top Critic
  • Landscapes and lyric conundrums distinguish the first two-thirds of this find-your-own-meaning artflick, which unfurls like some stranger's life you're half reliving.

    Dec 2, 2014 | Full Review…
  • It is arresting in many ways and concerned to elucidate the experience of being on one's own. Is any other state possible?

    Sep 11, 2014 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…
  • For some this will feel like an arthouse endurance test, but it's shot with real beauty.

    Sep 9, 2014 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…

    Cath Clarke

    Time Out
    Top Critic
  • Forgoes such linearity in favour of an increasingly visceral triptych narrative that follows a mysterious loner from the margins of a commune to a trip into the wilderness.

    Sep 14, 2013 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for A Spell To Ward Off The Darkness

  • Jun 15, 2015
    One star for the heavy metal, if you leave out the singing. This is a good film to go to if you have to get indoors somewhere dry for a while and take a nap during a film that has really long takes of nothing happening, and I mean really long takes. Except for the band members, all of the characters in this including the lead actor are incredibly boring and superficial. The woman spouting the potted philosophy takes the cake for inanity. But ignore everything and have your sleep; that will be the best part.
    . . Super Reviewer

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