Hour of the Wolf (1968) – Episode 52 – Decades of Horror: The Classic Era

‘The old ones called it “the hour of the wolf.” It is the hour when most people die, when most children are born. Now is when nightmares come to us. And if we are awake … we’re afraid.’ Everyone experiences this phenomenon but it was Ingmar Bergman who brought this bit of Swedish folklore to the mass consciousness and gave it a name. Join this episode’s Grue Crew – Joseph Perry, Whitney Collazo, Chad Hunt, and Jeff Mohr – as they do their best to decypher Ingmar Bergman’s Hour of the Wolf.

Decades of Horror: The Classic Era
Episode 52 — Hour of the Wolf (1968)


While vacationing on a remote Scandinavian island with his younger pregnant wife, an artist has an emotional breakdown while confronting his repressed desires.


Usually considered Bergman’s one true horror film, Hour of the Wolf, aka Vargtimmen, had your loyal Grue Crew baffled and befuddled at times. Joseph, the only Bergman non-virgin among them, did his best to guide the others. Jeff is impressed with several set pieces throughout the film giving it more the feel of a disjointed nightmare than a cohesive story and identifies Strange Brew as his favorite Max von Sydow appearance. The lady with the face that came off with her hat piqued Whitney’s interest as she found the makeup and effects fascinating. Chad is glad to have had the opportunity to broaden his horizons and to discuss Hour of the Wolf but still isn’t able to see it as a horror film. What he calls “surrealist, arthouse, but-is-it-horror?” horror films are a particular love of Joseph’s (Surprise, surprise!) so he finds much more to like in Hour of the Wolf than the rest of the Grue Crew.

As most Grue-Believers already know, Bergman is not for everyone and requires some work from the viewer. Having said that, your Grue Crew is universally impressed with the imagery Bergman put to film. Many of the scenes in Hour of the Wolf will be stuck in their collective memories for quite some time. You should definitely check this one out if you feel so inclined, but don’t expect to have a feel for exactly what happened.

The Decades of Horror: The Classic Era Grue Crew plan to release a new episode every other week and hey, where else will you hear podcasts on films ranging from Invasion of the Saucer Men (1957) to Bride of Frankenstein (1935) to Hour of the Wolf? The next episode in our very flexible schedule will be Roger Corman’s A Bucket of Blood (1959), starring the late, great Dick Miller.

Please let us know what you think of Decades of Horror: The Classic Era! After all, without you, we’re only talking about the films we love. Send us an email at feedback@gruesomemagazine.com or leave us a message, a review, or a comment at GruesomeMagazine.com, iTunes, the Gruesome Magazine Horror News Radio Facebook group or your friendly neighborhood podcast aggregator.

To each of you from each of us, “Thank you so much for listening!”

Jeff Mohr
Jeff lives smack dab in the middle of the cornfields of Iowa and is a long-time horror fan. His first remembered encounters with the genre were The Wizard of Oz, Tarzan gorilla chases, and watching the first broadcast of The Twilight Zone episode, "An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge." While he now qualifies as an old fart, he strives to be an Old Boy. Paraphrasing Robert Bloch, he has the heart of a small boy. He keeps it in a jar on his desk.

Jeff has written for Horrornews.net and SQ Horror Magazine. He currently writes for Gruesome Magazine and is a co-host of the Decades of Horror podcasts - The Classic Era, 1970s, and 1980s - and the Gruesome Magazine Podcast.