Even today, 'Hour Of The Wolf' remains a misunderstood classic, usually dismissed as a lesser translation of Bergman’s talent, more an exercise in style and atmosphere. What minimal plot there is, concerns the strange disappearance of troubled artist Johan (Max Von Sydow) who lives on an unnamed island with his wife Alma (Liv Ullmann). Leading up to his vanishing we see a number of fantastical encounters experienced by the artist, including an affair between him and a mysterious blond, with whom he grows increasingly obsessed with. As well as a group of strange men and women who dwell in a darkly Gothic castle elsewhere on the island. Later as Johan’s madness reaches its feverish peak following a violent incident, his inner fears burst into frightening reality. In these scenes, Bergman lets loose with an assault of weird, but wonderful images: From the woman who slowly removes her face, to a man who spins into a rage, ascends a nearby wall, before climbing up onto the ceiling. These startling array of fantastical black and white images can clearly be seen influencing many later films, notably the twisted early shockers of David Lynch (Eraserhead).
a slow, thoughtful trip inside the crumbling mind of a broken psyche, filled with 'black as midnight' images that take you to new, strange places. A masterpiece.