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Hour of the Wolf

(Vargtimmen)
Sweden 1968. Dir: Ingmar Bergman. 93 min. DCP

NEW RESTORATION! A hallucinatory descent into the depths of madness, Swedish master Ingmar Bergman’s dark, disturbing horror film — his only full-blown entry in the genre — had a palpable influence on the celluloid nightmares of David Lynch, an avowed admirer. Shot on the island of Fårö (as with so many of the Swede’s finest), it stars Bergman stand-in Max von Sydow as Johan, a tortured artist haunted by demons of the past, made ostensibly flesh at his eerily-isolated, coastal hermitage. Liv Ullmann, Bergman’s perennial muse and then-lover, is Johan’s scared, pregnant wife, on the brink of unravelling herself. The film’s Gothic tenor, owed largely to Sven Nykvist’s moody B&W cinematography, was inspired by Tod Browning’s Dracula; the island’s otherworldly apparitions are the forebears of Lynch’s. “Brilliant … A dazzling flow of surrealism, expressionism, and full-blooded Gothic horror” (Tom Milne, Time Out).


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REVIEWS

★★★★★ “One of the most sinisterly beautiful black-and-white horror films you will ever see … A must for fans of horror and of Bergman.”

Empire | full review

“Bergman works where people's nightmares converge … Unthinkable for anyone seriously interested in movies not to see it.”

New York Times | full review