Saturday, January 22, 2011

The Hour of the Wolf

Towards the end of “The Hour of the Wolf”, we see Johan remember his encounter with yet another demon. Alma seems shocked after hearing about Johan’s encounter with the boy and the resulting murder. The scene begins with Alma and Johan sitting in a dark room during the hour of the wolf. Johan asks Alma if she recalls the snake bite he had and quickly transitions into his narrative. Johan is fishing at the beach near a cliff, when we see the little boy oddly sitting in the background, staring at Johan. Johan seems disturbed but ignores the boy’s presence as first. The boy then moves and lays on a nearby rock, at which point Johan realizes the boy is demon representing homosexuality. At this point, Johan approaches the boy and begins to struggle with him while the boy bites him repeatedly. Johan then uses a rock to kill the boy, and tosses him into the ocean with no remorse. I thought it was interesting that the director combined the innocence of a child with homosexuality to represent this “demon” and provoke Johan’s actions. Though this scene was odd, I thought its inclusion may have revealed thoughts about homosexuality during the late 1960s.


  1. I believe the reason the boy is used as the demon for Johan’s homosexual urges because his experimentation took place during his youth. In this sense, by killing the boy Johan is actually killing part of his past. Along with his past Johan seems to struggle with his masculinity. In the film one of the wealthy eccentrics dresses him up in basically drag. He is then sent to have sex with his love from the past only to be laughed at. Both of these are a slap in the face to manhood. He isn’t seen as a man in wolf’s clothes and by laughing at him during before sex his sexual prowess is put into question and/or he could be impotent at his age.

  2. Obviously, this movie contains extremely explicit sexual undertones, and I agree that the child can symbolize his homosexual past. I think that the nature in which he kills the child and the fact that entire scene is silent is an artful description of the fact that Johan wants to silence such feelings to the rest of the world. The fact that the child bites him shows that he is indeed still pained by such feelings and the struggle actually represents a mental struggle he is experiences. Also, I think there is heavy symbolism in the fact that the shot of the dead child in the water is shown several times. I believe it heavily emphasizes the fact that he considers such feelings to be resolved, but in reality, they are floating right near the surface ready to bubble up again.