a review by Nalini Haynes
Director: Conor McPherson
The Eclipse revolves around Michael Farr, a widowed father of two and a woodworking teacher, who is instrumental in organising a literary festival in the town of Cobh in Ireland. Michael isn’t sure if he’s having nightmares or being haunted by his father in law who is still alive but is nearing death. Lena Morrell and Nicholas Holden attend the writers festival as guest speakers. Nicholas pursues Lena in the hope of rekindling a brief affair had the previous year. Lena writes about supernatural experiences.
The lives of Michael, Nicholas and Lena become intertwined as Lena and Michael are attracted to one another while Lena tries to end the attentions of Nicholas. Michael’s nightmares or hauntings prompt him to talk to Lena about her book, The Eclipse, seeking answers.
While the relationships evolve so do the hauntings, in jarringly juxtaposed scenes that seem to link to Michael’s emotional state. It’s hard to say much more without giving spoilers that would seriously detract from watching the movie.
There is little blood or gore in this movie. There is tension, caused by the realistic developments in relationships as well as the supernatural. Rated M, this movie is not your average Hollywood horrror (yay!). The Eclipse won Best Actor at the Tribeca Film Festival, and I must say all the acting was excellent. The Eclipse also won Grand Prize for a European Fantasy Film at the Sitges International Film Festival.
I’m not really sure what to think of this movie myself, it’s one I’ll be pondering for a while.
This review was previously published in Dark Matter issue 2, January 2011, and predated on this website to reflect the original publication date.
All images © Treasure Entertainment Ltd. 2009