Thursday, December 24, 2009
Day 287: The Virgin Spring (1960) - Rank 4.5/5
The story begins when a young, nubile girl hiking through the woods comes across comes across a pair of men, one of whom is accompanied by his son. At first their meeting is pleasant, but it’s not long before the girl is raped and killed. Later, the killers seek lodging at the home of the girl’s family and it isn’t long before the father figures out who they are. He must then decide if he should reduce himself to their level and exact a similar revenge to their crime.
While this might sound like I’m describing the premise to Wes Craven’s “Last House on the Left,” “The Virgin Spring” is actually a pensive little exercise in revenge by Ingmar Bergman. As is customary is Bergman’s tales, faith is an intertwining theme between incidents. (Max von Sydow) is a pious man who feels as if he’s going throught eh trials of Job throughout the incident, and despite his devout, religious beliefs, his overwhelming desire is to make his murderous houseguests suffer as much as he can. But despite the dark theme of the film, it’s beautifully shot and told, making it feel like a lost parable brought to life.