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All Critics (18)
| Top Critics (4)
| Fresh (16)
| Rotten (2)
| DVD (1)
A brilliant Gothic fantasy.
Hour of the Wolf is not one of Bergman's great films but it is unthinkable for anyone seriously interested in movies not to see it.
If we allow the images to slip past the gates of logic and enter the deeper levels of our mind, and if we accept Bergman's horror story instead of questioning it, Hour of the Wolf works magnificently.
This 1967 effort is one of Bergman's most outlandish, with its pack of ghouls and its heavy suggestions of exhibitionism, necrophilia, and homosexuality -- a magnificent failure.
Bergman's doom-ridden follow-up to Persona reaches out its cold ancient mariner's grasp to stop one in one's tracks.
Bergman shakes his head and intuitive horrors cascade out, all he has to do is collect image after fulminating image
Some of the images, such as one of a young boy staring at Von Sydow as he's fishing, will haunt you long afterwards.
One of the typical bleak psychological dramas of Ingmar Bergman.
Only partly successful.
This Bergman discourse on the nature of art and the artist's relation to society is shrouded in the trappings of gothic horror.
A must for fans of horror and of Bergman. So good it makes you wish he had dabbled in the genre that bit more often.
existential dread is palpable
gorgeous to look at and creepy as hell. max von sydow's dreams invade real life and not only his own
as with many bergman films, i toiled for some time to find a worthwhile and redeemable interpretation, but thankfully, this one gained a slight amount of clarity by the end. not in line with bergman's more masterful works, but not as bad as his overdone floundering films either. some of the dialogue was interesting and max von sydow was convincing as usual.
Hour of the Wolf is the only horror film Ingmar Bergman ever made. And it's amazing. Clearly influenced here by German Expressionism, Bergman and cinematographer Sven Nykvist use exaggerated and stylized light and shadow and deliberately disorienting camera angles to full affect. Bergman's penchant for intense, unblinking close-ups compliments this style of shooting well, and adds a sense of the surreal to the already bizarre happenings. The performances of the castle apparitions -- by actors such as Erland Josephson, Bertil Anderberg, and Ingrid Thulin -- certainly have a definite expressionist, stylized feel to them as well. This expressionist sensibility also calls for the dramatic externalization of the internal; this fits the subject matter of the film in two ways. First and most obvious, the expression of Johan's inner turmoil breaks the psychological barriers between self and other and between reality and unreality (and later, between life and death) necessary for Bergman to create true horror. Second, and a bit less obvious on the surface, is Bergman's own expression here of the internal realities of his own life. It may seem a bit too on-the-nose, but is there any doubt that Von Sydow's Johan is a stand-in for the writer/director himself? The character is a troubled, brilliant artist whose creative visions and past both interfere with his relationship with his pregnant wife. It is certainly no coincidence that the wife in question is played by Liv Ullmann, who at the time was herself pregnant with Bergman's child; the demands of Bergman's art and personality had threatened for a while to tear the two of them apart. There is clearly a dark side to the creative impulse, and its obsessions can impair life in the real world, whether for fictitious artist Johan Borg or real-life Ingmar Bergman. Perhaps that's why this film strikes such a chord: it feels personal, while at the same time fiercely artistic. A must-see for psychological horror fans.
A difficult sit to be sure, but Ingmar Bergman's stab at surrealist horror is a delight. It's thematically sort of fuzzy, barely frightening at all, and maybe a bit underconfident (Liv Ullmann's bookend monologues are interesting to see but ultimately unnecessary), both of which are acceptable losses when you consider that this is a genre Bergman had never attempted. I'm sure the movie's brooding isolationism and pervasive sense of danger were much scarier forty years ago sitting in a theater...I think that, more than a lot of movies, this gets garroted a bit by a home viewing. Still, it's mysterious and well-acted and spare in the best way, and definitely worth a watch if you like unconventional horror films.
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