Hour of the Wolf
Released - 1968
Genre - Horror, Drama
Director - Ingmar Bergman
Starring - Max von Sydow, Liv Ullman, Ingrid Thulin, Erland Josephson
This is an unsettling account of an artist's descent into madness. Johan Borg (von Sydow) and his wife Alma (Ullman) go to live on a remote island. Johan wanders the beautiful landscape by day and paints, but at night he returns to tell Alma of his strange encounters. He suffers from insomnia and a rising sense of dread which he seems unable to shake. As he begins to get worse the couple meet a bizarre cast of characters, ostensibly the local baron, his wife and some of their friends and relatives. It's never entirely clear what is actually happening but the film is recounted by Alma after Johan's disappearance so we have a good idea how it will end. Written and directed by Bergman the film looks gorgeous and there are a few haunting sequences. All of the characters appear to be Johan's personal demons and they represent his darkest fears and shames. It is quite slow and the blurred line between reality and fantasy won't appeal to everyone, but there can be no doubt it is beautifully made and it lingers in your mind long after the closing credits.
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