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Director Conor McPherson has brought the fear and supernatural realm into his latest film, The Eclipse. This movie brings the type of horror film that I personally would like to see more of in today’s movies. Eclipse brings the ghost stories we grew up to while combining a budding love story with a hint of raw human condition making it into a beautifully crafted work of art. It shows us through the lead character how we all must carry on living after we mourn the death of a loved one. This movie goes to show that it does not need gallons of blood and guts to emphasize the storyline. If there was ever a haunting Irish tale to be told on screen, then my lads and lasses, I would not dare disappoint you with this review.
Former writer Michael Farr (Ciarán Hinds) is a widower living in the small Irish town of Cobh with his two teenage children. He still grieves over the death of his wife. He continues to press on with his life by volunteering for the town’s annual literary festival. One evening, Michael is haunted by weird noises and a shadowy figure walking all throughout his house. He wonders is he going crazy or it is a strange dream.
One day, he serves as the chauffeur to writer Lena Morelle (Iben Hjejle) who has the knack for the supernatural in her latest book. Lena tries her best to help Michael understand what is happening to him, they developed a unique connection to each other. This is first time Michael found love since his wife passed. As Michael and Lena are getting acquainted, another author Nicholas Holden (Aidan Quinn) tries to shake things up between the two by claiming his love for Lena.
The Eclipse brings a well-written haunting tale to Cobh, Ireland. Director Conor McPherson has proven to be a master of creepy suspense. The three lead characters were believable and funny. We had Michael who not only had to deal with the ghosts in his own home, but we had to see that he had come to terms that with the fact that he had to live for the sake of his two kids. Aidan’s performance of Mr. Holden provided the light-hearted comedic relief needed for the Eclipse. In nearly every scene, Holden was fighting for the affections of Ms. Morelle, drinking his life away, or inflating his “I’m the best author” ego. I have to give Aidan Quinn praise for his work in the movie. Although Lena didn’t want any part of being in the festival, she provided the safety and confidence that Michael desperately needed to move on.
Conor McPherson knowingly took the elements of instant fear and genuine terror that gave his movie one that moviegoers will keep their lights on for when they fall asleep. Even the closing scene of the Eclipse was so emotional, it tugs at the heartstrings. The ethereal musical score by Fionnuala Ni Chiosian was crafted to be soothing yet eerily brilliant. Who knew that a supernatural movie can be so delicate that it even pleased me? If you want a movie to literally scare the living daylights out of you, then look towards this Eclipse – for now.
FINAL GRADE: A-