Hour of the Wolf

Hour of the Wolf

HoopTober 8.0 | I’ll Sleep When I’m Dead
Film #32

Bergman’s characteristically artsy take on psychological horror. Hour of the Wolf is a careful examination of a drained, weary mind rather than a genre piece, perhaps slightly underwhelming by the ridiculous standards set by Bergman classics such as the much more psychologically complex Persona, the emotionally affecting Wild Strawberries or the anguished, philosophical The Seventh Seal. Unlike Seventh Seal’s Kierkegaardian knight of faith, Wolf’s artist is haunted not by impending death but rather his own past, a more personal, intimate fear and trembling as opposed to a sprawling tract on the essence of faith and the silence of God.

Sporadically bordering on folk horror, the film has no shortage of eerie imagery but also feels like the work of an auteur with less to say than he did prior to the breakthrough that was Persona, retreading the same thematic ground as much of his previous work. Still, Hour of the Wolf is a visually striking, difficult and dazzlingly acted journey into Bergman’s interior that, even if it doesn’t feel quite as essential as the director’s best films, is still a beautiful, crawly dark fantasy nightmare.

Very good

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