Hour of the Wolf

Hour of the Wolf ★★★★½

Being initially drawn to Hour of the Wolf primarily on the basis that its widely considered Bergman's first and only endeavor in the horror genre, I found myself pleasantly surprised and properly disturbed by the end of it.
What started out as an increasingly eerie examination of a troubled man quickly spiraled into pure surrealism with the physical world seamlessly blending with the main character's tortured and fractured mind. It is a shame that Bergman never really voyaged farther into horror because he definitely has a knack for setting it up in this film. There were moments where I felt genuinely unnerved, particularly with how both the music and silence were utilized so effectively. Sydow and Ullmann give excellent performances here, conveying such a range of emotions with subtlety and efficiency. There are some really great thought provoking lines in this particular film and these and their delivery really bumped this film up half a star for me.
This is one of Bergman's shorter films, less than an hour and a half. However, there is so much shown in that time and much not explained. Similar to Persona, Hour of the Wolf very much engages the audience visually and thematically but in the end it is up to us to determine a meaning for ourselves. Another winner from Bergman!