Unsure of what it wants to be, The Eclipse winds up only being a mishmashed nothing. In a seaside Irish town, high school woodworking teacher Michael (Ciarán Hinds) still grieves over the death of his wife, a loss that’s left him to raise their two kids on his own and has also, it seems, caused him to begin having unsettling ghostly visions of his ailing father-in-law. Again working as an assistant for the region’s annual literary festival, Michael comes into contact with novelist Lena (Iben Hjejle), who warms to him and attempts to encourage his long-tabled writerly ambitions, even as she fends off the advances of an arrogant, boorish literary hot shot (Aidan Quinn) also attending the event. Playwright-turned-filmmaker Conor McPherson provides Hinds with ample space to flesh out Michael’s tormented grief, and Hinds forcefully seizes the opportunity, conveying in his granite countenance and deliberate, slightly sleepwalky comportment the unreality of his morose predicament. Yet rather than simply allowing The Eclipse to be an introspective character study, the writer/director interjects monster movie jolt scares as well as indulges Quinn’s every hammy instinct, such that the action proves gracelessly schizophrenic, the tension generated from its protagonist’s poignant human condition undone by shock-tactic screams and slapstick farce. Noisy horror, broad comedy, and pensive melodrama are all smushed together in such a way that none of the modes feels natural, resulting in a film about survival (and its burdens) that itself is a burden to endure.