Friday, 3 November 2017
The Eclipse (2009)
I originally intended The Eclipse to be part of my October review list, and it is a genuinely creepy film at times - certainly it has more legitimate scares than drek like Zombie Apocalypse - but at the end of the day I decided to defer it into November. Because despite the effective spooky elements, at the end of the day I feel that the focus of this film is on the human drama, with the scares as a spicy addition rather than the main ingredient of the cinematic meal.
Michael Farr is a widower, still struggling with grief from the death of his wife two years earlier, while trying to raise two children, hold down a job, and assist with running a local literary festival. For this year's festival he's been assigned to help a writer of ghost stories, which might (or might not) go some way to explaining why Michael begins experiencing some decidedly spooky visitations.
The Eclipse is anchored by a compelling central performance by Ciaran Hinds. He's excellent as the grieving, yearning widower. He's ably supported by a strong cast and by the film's very effective combination of everyday drama and possibly otherworldly experiences. Any film that can creep you out just from seeing someone walk across a room is doing something right.
I think in part the scare scenes in this movie are so effective because it's not a horror film. The Eclipse constantly lures you into the "mundane" story it is telling, which means that the creepy just genuinely surprises.
If you're at all a fan of well-told romantic drama, and don't mind occasionally being a little bit freaked out, The Eclipse is well worth your time.