Hour of the Wolf Movie Review

Hour of the Wolf is hardly Ingmar Bergman's best-known work nor his best, but it at least deserves a wider audience than history has granted it. One of his most surreal and simple tales, Wolf follows a couple who live on a desolate island (why do Bergman's characters always choose to live in the worst possible conditions?). He's a painter, she's a doting wife. Oh, and he's well on his way to going insane, with all manner of violent visions crashing through his mind.

Played by Bergman regulars Max von Sydow and Liv Ullmann, the couple quickly -- inside an hour and a half -- comes completely apart as von Sydow's visions become indistinguishable from reality. Hour of the Wolf has been described as Bergman's only horror film and that's not far from the mark, with creepy characters and imagery pervading the entire second half of the movie.

At the same time, it's a movie all too familiar out of the Bergman canon. His existential dread is palpable, as the fear of death and the great beyond (and more) are ultimately responsible for von Sydow's condition. Bergman is a bit obvious about this: We will all become the von Sydow character sooner or later. And perhaps that's the scariest thing of all.

Aka Vargtimmen.

Comments

Hour of the Wolf Rating

" OK "

Rating: R, 1968

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