I am blown away yet again by the work of director Ingmar Bergman. He is slowly inching his way up my list of favorite directors. If you enjoyed his Persona (1966) and The Seventh Seal (1957), you will love The Hour of the Wolf (1968).
The film made me think of an interesting thought experiment: picture David Lynch directing The Shining in 1980 instead of Stanley Kubrick. If you can picture that, you’ll have a decent grasp on what this piece ultimately looks like.
Also if you enjoy true psychological terror, where the line between lucidity and madness, the real and the unreal, is blurred, you will love The Hour of the Wolf, as the main story is essentially what psychiatrists call a “folie a deux” (in French literally a “circus of two”) or a shared “madness of two”. Bergman effortlessly walks the audience down the unreal / real tightrope in this film. Max von Sydow and Liv Ullmann do not disappoint as the leads either.
I leave you with the hearty recommendation of catching The Hour of the Wolf and how Bergman defines the hour as a term in his film:
“The time between midnight and dawn when most people die, when sleep is deepest, when nightmares are most palatable. It is the hour when the sleepless are pursued by their sharpest anxieties, when ghosts and demons hold sway. The hour of the wolf is also the hour when most children are born.