Hour of the Wolf

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Maggie Steinmiller
ENGL Professor Wolfslayer February 7, 2013

The Hour of The Wolf by Ingmar BergmanIngmar Bergman's “Hour of the Wolf” is a movie one would have to pay strict attention to from start to finish. It is a twisted attempt at a Gothic horror film that goes against the norm of its time. “Hour of the Wolf” is composed of short scenes, some very dull and others warped. It is some what hard to follow because Bergman doesn't separate reality from the illusions experienced in the movie.

The film takes place on an island where an artist named Johan and his wife Alma reside. The introductory scene starts off with Alma telling about Johan's diary and that he went insane and disappeared. The film then redirects to the beginning of the plot, where the true madness begins. Johan is an insomniac out of fear of the past and illusions that haunt him at night. He is especially afraid of a certain time at night which he calls the Hour of the Wolf which is where the title comes from. This is the time between 3 and 4 AM and according to the film ' It is the hour where most people die, when sleep is deepest, when nightmares are more real. It is the hour when the sleepless are haunted by their deepest fear, when ghosts and demons are most powerful. The Hour of the Wolf is also the hour when most children are born.' This theory, whether true or not, is a creative reason for Johan's insomnia and also probably an aid for his insanity.

As the movie develops, we see the couples everyday life and relationship change. Johan is growing more unusual which sparks Alma's curiosity. One day she finds Johan's diary, reads it, and finds out that he is being haunted by creatures he calls cannibals. Some of these cannibals are just an annoyance and he either ignores them or slaps them down. Others appear in the image of his past lover, Veronica, whom he had an affair with and try to seduce him. Johan seems to give in to the illusions of Veronica possibly still being obsessed...
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