Night of the Hunter River Sequence

I just posted a little article on Row Three with a triple feature of mesmerizingly weird films featuring children, with one of the films being the wonderful, uncategorizable The Night of the Hunter. I won’t crosspost it here because it’s closely tied to a rep cinema programming series of posts we have there, but I figured I’d go ahead and share what I think is the most memorable sequence from the film (out of a BUNCH of memorable sequences) – the meditative and nearly surreal river trip the kids take toward the end of the film. It’s not really a spoiler to watch this section if you haven’t seen it, and I think it’s beautiful even out of context. But I have a thing for moody cinematography and kids singing haunting songs.

This was the moment I fell in love with the film the first time I saw it; it’s sort of a turn, too, as the film moves from being a heightened melodrama/horror/film noir film into something more along the lines of a fable or morality play, though like I said, it’s really hard to categorize. Watching it a second time brings out more of this fable-like quality in the first half as well, once you know to look for it. The Night of the Hunter comes out in a Criterion edition (both DVD and blu-ray) in November. You can bet I’ll be picking it up.