A painter spending a summer in seclusion with his pregnant wife, is haunted by disturbing visions. Before long, his wife begins experiencing her husband’s hallucinations which leads to a shocking discovery.
This film is not currently playing on MUBI but 30 other great films are. See what’s now showing
Somewhat atypical Bergman with the dream-state horror motifs and devices working well (to a point) underscoring the fear & paranoia. The true 'horror' isn't so much the surface detail but within the tumultuous internalised emotions erupting forth when self, desire, guilt or need for solitude is compromised. Where the motifs grate somewhat is in the sheer stew of them, from gothic to surrealism and points in between.
Not since The Shining have I seen a film try this pathetically hard to be scary. In general, the more Bergman I watch, the more boring and predictable his work seems. Makes me worry to revisit Persona.
I added an extra star for Liv's performance. She had the sweetness and caring of a much younger woman. The movie seemed like a meditation on a horror film rather than an actual horror film. You get that distance from the way it kept pulling away from the emotion and back into Max's confused mind.
In which Ingmar Bergman, who for better or worse popularized the idea of the "art film", tries his hand at a horror film. Which means that amazing imagery, acting, atmosphere, and statements about obsessive artists end up side by side with Hammer-isms like spooky castles and fake eyeballs. It makes you realize that some of the most artistically satisfying horror films are the ones that pretend not to be art at all.
This is just too beautiful to exist. Bergman builds an imagery overflow with this horror: there are so many great scenes put together in here: heart-cutting loneliness, desperation & emotion. Liv is so beautiful to watch - she puts together a very soulful individual, lost in the ashes of what remained: dark shadows and silence. Be prepared to transcend.
Bergman always makes you think and it's a welcome challenge to everyone who seeks a deeper meaning in things. This makes you think inescapably about love and how it's intensity or lack of it can arm. Loving less someone can protect him and you, but not loving enough may let us to live in constant dissatisfaction. In the end, one of them must be?
Anywho, always a good cinematic experience if you enjoy to be confused.
a bizarre and twisted psychological nightmare and a feast of the eyes. what a sense of dread bergman captures, as well as mental disintegration. I found this film fascinating and after seeing persona and hour of the wolf I am compelled by liv ullmann and her ability to portray such vivid emotion in facial expressions.
Without this The Shining wouldn't have been the masterpiece it is, and Lynch's most ominous work would never have been as potent. Not a film of horror, but a film about the horror of humiliation, guilt, and desperation. An underrated masterpiece.