We owe Ireland a warm round of applause for producing a remarkably terrifying horror film sans excessive and unwarranted special effects! Just when the James Cameron’s of the industry began to pollute the art of simplicity with Sony HDC-F980 and 3-D phenomena, writer/director Connor McPherson stepped in to wag his finger. Magnolia Pictures presents, The Eclipse.

Check out the review below…

The Players:

  • Writer/Director: Connor McPherson
  • Producer: Robert Walpole
  • Cast: Ciaran Hinds, Aidan Quinn, Iben Hjejle

The Plot:

Since the death of his wife two years ago, schoolteacher Michael Farr has raised his two children in a seaside town, alone. Lately he’s been seeing and hearing strange things in his home, and isn’t sure whether they’re nightmares or ghosts. Each year the town hosts a literary festival, and this year author Lena Morelle is featured for her book about the supernatural. As the festival progresses, a series of mysteries unravel…

The Good:

  • A REAL Ghost Story: Michael is conceivably haunted by grief . The “hauntings” or spiritual visitations could arguably evolve from his grief-induced delirium.  Or, hey, maybe they’re actual ghosts. But unlike most horror films, The Eclipse encourages a realistic approach towards interaction with the “other-side.” Which is precisely why it’s terrifying. Special effects and heightened story-lines are easy to deem unrealistic. You shriek in the theatre, inhale bags of candy, and move on with your evening.
  • Music: The score is comprised of powerful, almost haunting choir music.
  • Characters/Writing: I keep going back to the ideas of simplicity and realism – but they truly are the defining factors of the piece. The characters were also eerily normal – they even LOOKED normal (dare I say unattractive, a stunning rarity in the world of movies). It really brought the story in the room, and kept it there. I should also note that despite the goose-bump worthy material, the script was loaded with humor. It’s easy to forget whether or not you’re laughing or screaming.

The Bad:

  • Gloomy: The movie certainly wasn’t slow, but McPhereson’s supreme simplicity  gave way to a number of dull moments. Though, one could argue that the color pallets and grey-ish Irish scenery created the appropriate aesthetic.
  • Box Office: The film is hard to place from a standpoint of genre. We’ve got suspense, we’ve got the thrill, but it’s mixed with horror-like attributes – though still avoiding even scratching the surface of any Rob Zombie tomfoolery. Sadly, I doubt it will have much commercial success.


There’s nothing supremely wrong with this film. Frankly, though, it’s nothing to write home about. I’m indifferent.

Rating: 7/10

The film opens with a limited release this Friday!


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