IMDb > A Spell to Ward Off the Darkness (2013) > Reviews & Ratings - IMDb
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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

A complete philistine?

Author: Filmstv Andlife
3 April 2015

This film is daunting and made me feel like a complete Philistine. Some of it was a beautiful and unnerving, the hermit or the little blond girl running around in a cardi. The commune part just felt comfortable, some of the hermit part too,since I used to live a similar life in parts of those two,funnily enough my former life also involved the metal part as well.

So in a way the movie, for me was personal and completely freaked me out. I found it invasive and thought, how did you know what i was doing when I was young.

I have often wondered myself lately, maybe I should have stayed doing as i was considering the artificial nature of existence in the city.

Was I having way more fun living in the country roaming around with a massive bearded Latvian dude oft times partaking in small live music concerts but generally just raising metal hell together in a remote shack with massive amps.

I think the answer to the question in the film is SH*T HAPPENED.

the answer to the second question posed by the film would be sh*t will continue to happen because it has happened in the past and keen observers of history will gleefully point out that humans have a bad habit of repeating stupid mistakes.

I think this is in part because of lack of decent historical education but probably in full because of human nature and the time constrictions of the human life span.

Now can the filmmakers please tell me what the film was about, because if the synopsis is correct and it was about spirituality, then wtf there is no such thing.

That is a lesson hard learned.

Find more incoherent rambling at

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4 out of 10 people found the following review useful:

A different kind of Black Metal documentary

Author: Disfigurator from Latvia
29 June 2014

First of all, let's get one thing clear: this movie is not about Scandinavian Doom Metal as the previous reviewer puts it. Hell, even I'm not sure exactly what this film is exactly about - but what I know - the last half an hour consists of pretty decent Shoegazing kind of Raw Black Metal.

Not the satanic stuff, mind you. Yes, there are healthy dosage of different themes explored in Black Metal, besides the traditional anti-religious stuff.

So, that being said, the only giveaway of this later section of this enjoyable film is the title font and the end of the movie itself. Other than that the movie hides it's Black Metal and portrays a mellow lifestyle that's somewhat slow, somewhat woody and somewhat butt-plugged. Yeah. Somewhat even Hippy. And yes, here they are - terms "Hippy" and "Black Metal" put together in one review, in a complimentary sense.

This movie will be shown at an open-air cinema festival in Latvia. And I'm wondering - how many clueless people will soil their pants at the end of the movie? How many people will just walk away from the las 45-or so minutes of the film? How many people will feel that they bought tickets for the wrong film?

And how many people will just head-bang the living crap out of their necks, when the tremolo picking and blast-beats kick in? A fun pieces of thought to entertain.

Overall - this is a different kind of documentary that deals with themes common in Black Metal (except the lively Hippy stuff). It's very slow, deliberate and in times - funny as the concept of Hell itself.

It depicts various things.

It depicts a group of people living in a friendly and philosophical community. It depicts some gorgeous forest scenes in those slow and moody scenes.

And it depicts a man that lives in this community, that enjoys the woods somewhat more that the average person does, and this man happens to play in a Black Metal band. You can't go wrong with this combo!

An interesting combination of elements, and therefore an interesting film to watch.

7/10 easily.

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0 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

I thought fondly what an alternate title might have been

Author: Conejeto
9 December 2014

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

First 45 minutes was nice, needed no subtitles. I thought fondly an alternate title might have been "Hippies on Heroin" or maybe "Those Heroin Daze". I think there would be few wars and government theft or acid rain if we all just got along like we do on H (yes I take Sub). The last segment reminded me that few really like those Death metal groups, rather they fear what will happen to their families if the say the overall score is ridiculously high. Call it a correctness of the wealthy baby boomers who are for me sell outs for the almighty dollar with "ba-ba Bowie" as their poster child. I never liked that metal music, I used to call it DEMON SOUNDS/sounds of Satan and only tolerated it at parties for the leather they wore. Still love that. Synthetics ruin the planet and have no arousal properties. I think I am off subject, what I meant to say was the music gave me a headache. Like Cheech and Chong's bit: Mellow, mellllow feelin' mellow? gooood, now WAKE UP!!! a real bummer man.

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7 out of 38 people found the following review useful:

For Lovers of Scandinavian Doom Metal Only.

Author: hammy-3 from Cork, Ireland
17 November 2013

Usually I make a point of staying until the end of films at the cinema or at a festival...once I stayed until the end of a Bruce LaBruce movie after 2/3 of the audience walked out...but I couldn't make it through this, even though one of the directors was sitting right behind me.

The first 45 minutes has it's moments, though the fly-on-the-wall style isn't conducive to much insight....there really should have been someone with more awareness than a fly to edit it...there are nice scenes among a hippie commune in Finland though.

The last half hour of what I saw was basically concert footage of a doom metal gig...if you're one of the few people who gets this music you might enjoy it, to me; it was like having a migraine.

Really sorry I can't be more positive...any movie that encourages communal living and a more basic lifestyle should be encouraged, but the endless doom metal just ruined it for me.

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