Dear The Internet &/or Stephanie Meyers,
There are multiple works of art involving the word “eclipse.” Stephanie Meyers does not own every reference to celestial bodies being obscured by passing into the shadow of another body or having another body pass between the one object and the viewer. Fun note, an eclipse is a type of syzygy. Isn’t that a cool word? A syzygy is the alignment of three or more celestial objects in a line. It’s also one of my favorite episodes of The X-Files. But more about the word “eclipse.”
I wish the internet would stop showing me pictures of Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart whenever I type in the word “eclipse.” They always look like they would smell really bad and would ask you for money to buy a forty. Not because they like forties, but because looking like you’re homeless when you have oodles o’cash is cool. Eclipses have existed since long before Stephanie Meyers was even born, why does her work get to Bogart the meaning?
In my case, I’m referring to the [superior in all ways to any of the Twilight movies] 2009 Irish movie, The Eclipse.
This is a flaw in the internet that I think needs to be fixed. Thank you for your time.
The Eclipse has been billed as a ghost story but it’s more like a character study with a possible haunting. Michael Farr (Ciarán Hinds) is a recent widower who’s beginning to suspect that his house may be haunted. He’s been hearing mysterious banging at night. Might I add that I found him to be craggily hot, the way a boxer or a stevedore is. Ciarán Hinds will be playing Aberforth Dumbledore in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows II, by the way. Iben Hjejle plays Lena Morelle, the author of the book The Eclipse. They meet at the Cobh Literary Festival, where Michael is a volunteer.
See, that’s Lena’s book. I had the same reaction that Peter Griffen had whenever a movie character says the phrase that a movie is named after.
The movie is about their growing friendship and possible romance. They have to deal with Nicholas Holden (Aiden Quinn) along the way, playing a jerky American writer who’s stalking Lena. Michael confides in Lena about his suspicions about being haunted.
But the movie is so much more than just ghosts. It’s about how people deal with death and grief. Throughout the movie Michael is trying to care for his father-in-law. That is, until his father-in-law kills himself and Michael discovers his body in probably the most shocking scene in the movie.
So he has his dead wife and, then, dead father-in-law looming over him throughout the whole movie. At one point, Michael says something to Lena about how you feel shitty if you ever put away the pain of losing a loved one because then it’s like forgetting them. You want to remember everything, even if it hurts. Throughout the movie you see Michael in his study looking at pictures of his wife, Eleanor.
At one point, you see Michael hugging a ghost, the ghost of his dead wife? He wakes up and you wonder if the ghost was telling him it was ok to move on or if she was saying to remember her. Or if Michael’s just becoming unhinged over a very stressful weekend. The whole affair is very ambiguous and I would definitely like to rewatch this movie.
I would recommend this movie for the people who say they like movies but aren’t “into horror.” You know, those people who look down on us for watching bloody and scary movies. This is a good starter film that shows how the human condition itself is kind of horrifying. I mean, that’s why I love horror. There are elements of fantasy but the fantasy reflects fears and hopes.
Aside from the interesting story and the excellent acting, the movie is beautifully shot. Here are some stills that I liked in particular:
The music is also exceptional. My favorite movie scores are actually in the works of Hiyao Miyazaki. I know a lot of people think it’s weird that I love horror and that I also love Hiyao Miyazaki but I am a complicated and multilayered being. Anyway, the piano music in this movie definitely evokes the scores of Ponyo and Howl’s Moving Castle. This is accompanied by beautiful choral music that adds an air of unreality and sadness to the events.
I would like to add that the movie was creepy, it wasn’t overtly violent or terribly scary so I think it would be a good introduction to horror for someone who doesn’t want to be too scared. Still, I had one of the creepiest dreams I’ve ever had after watching this movie and it incorporated scenes lifted directly from the film. Weird…
- Scarina--the authoress and editrix of this site. I like scary movies and have dedicated my free time to cataloging horror--the good, the bad, and the ugly. Sometimes there are books too.
There's film criticism, literary criticism, and humor here. I can be highbrow but there's lots of pop culture too. And feminism.
I fervently love "Twin Peaks" and wish it were a real place so I could move there. I can't list my favorite scary movies because they change depending on my mood, the season, and how much coffee I've had.
I'm an artist looking for ways to blend creepy with cute. I try to channel my childhood nightmares, my love of horror, and my experiences with sleepy paralysis.
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