There are not many films that I go to where I sit thinking, “This is just a bit too weird even for me.” Love Eternal tells the story of a young man who due to past circumstances has what people would say is a fascination with death that is just ever so slightly more than normal.
Ian had to deal with a lot of death in his childhood, something which it appears he never really overcame, instead choosing to become locked away from the world, and from his mother who tried her hardest to get through to him. He felt that he didn’t deserve to be in this world, he was a defective human being.It is only when he is forced to live in the real world that we see the true effects the deaths have had on his mind. Failing to do the one thing he thought he had to do – kill himself – he meets a family in the woods who appear to have had the same thought as he did. At this point in the film, we get to experience Ian’s fascination with death in full.
He takes the girl of the family home and spends time with her – the only catch is she is dead. There are some deeper emotional issues to be explored here. Could it be that he does not want to let things go because he has lost so much already? Is he lonely and just looking for company? All of these seem like a relatively reasonably explanation until history repeats itself a second time, only this time it is more calculated on his part.
At the very heart of this film is a young man with severe mental and emotional problems who it seems has a liking for spending his time with women who are dead. So much so that he even frequents chat rooms where people go to talk about committing suicide in order to find someone to carry out his plans with. There is a light at the end of the tunnel though in the form of Naomi, who Ian stalks and then finally meets. She may be the one to change everything.
Love Eternal is not an easy film to watch. It goes against everything you think is right about the world and will make you question everything you know about death. There are wider issues to be explored within the film, and Robert de Hoog does an excellent job portraying the very difficult and complex character of Ian Harding.
If you are looking for a film to make you think, then this is that film.