Regarding Lord of Tears, director Lawrie Bewster says, “The idea for this film came about from my deep interest in the dark mythologies of ancient civilizations, old gods and legendary monsters – not to mention my obsession with terrifying ghost stories.”
A Scottish export produced in a partnership between Hex Media and Dark Dune Productions, Lord of Tears is a rare treat, a film that unnerves its audience by evoking the atmosphere of Gothic offerings from past decades. The result is a movie that feels both fresh and classic.
Read my review after the jump.
Official Synopsis: Lord of Tears tells the story of James Findlay, a school teacher plagued by recurring nightmares of a mysterious and unsettling entity. Suspecting that his visions are linked to a dark incident in his past, James returns to his childhood home, a notorious mansion in the Scottish Highlands, where he uncovers the disturbing truth behind his dreams, and must fight to survive the brutal consequences of his curiosity.
Lord of Tears is a unique and stirring experience. Filmed in the lush Scottish Highlands, the natural beauty with its melancholic greens and grays makes me long for an adventure across the Pond. It’s an older world, one still inhabited by ancient spirits. It’s also a darker world, where murders of crows caw overhead and worms in the earth below seek rotting flesh for sustenance. This is a world unfamiliar to many Americans (especially sunny West Coasters like myself) where the geography itself becomes an integral character in the story.
When his estranged mother dies, James (Euan Schofield) is forced to confront long suppressed memories from his childhood. Forgotten traumas begin bubbling to the surface drawing him to Baldurrok, an estate where he spent his early youth. There is no doubt that ghosts abound, but whether they are supernatural or figments of James’s troubled psyche is at first unknown. And what connection does all of this have to the Pagan ceremonial chamber located behind a wall in the basement?
Simultaneously, James’s mate since childhood Allen (Jamie Scott Gordon) is dealing with his father’s terminal illness. Both men are entering a new phase in their relationships with death, as losing their parents pushes them closer to that same universal eventuality. These men will find vastly different ways of coping, with James willing to accept it while Allen struggles.
Don’t pat yourself on the back too hard if you guess the film’s first “twist”. The song lyrics playing during the swimming pool scene, for example, were an overt confirmation of my earliest suspicions. Still, an even larger shock awaits, one not so easily deduced.
Lord of Tears introduces us to one of the most striking Horror villains in many years: Moloch, aka The Owlman (David Schofield). With a vocabulary that puts even eloquent Pinhead to shame, his every utterance is an incantation. His words are the darkest of poetry and ring with ancient authority. He’s a creature straight out of a child’s nightmare who nonetheless has the power to make the strongest of men tremble. The Owlman even transcends his own physicality and achieves mythical status. Those who meet the Owlman will hear his voice and feel his presence long after the film’s conclusion.
Lord of Tears can only be purchased from Hex Media directly. And while streaming may soon be an option, the actual Blu-Ray or DVD is a treasure to be owned. So much more than a cheap plastic case, eight glossy cardboard panels are drenched in beautifully sinister artwork. Also included is a book of the Owlman’s incantations. But it is the inclusion of the film’s haunting soundtrack that makes this a collector’s treasure. The package comes wrapped in thick black paper, adorned with a single feather—an owl’s feather. This is more than a movie, it’s an immersion into Moloch’s ancient world, a physical relic, an actual piece of mythology. You can order your own copy HERE (along with an awesome Owlman t-shirt!).
Lord of Tears never relies on gore or violence to terrify its audience. Like the Owlman himself, the fear is deep, old, and universal. Lord of Tears outdoes The Others with its unnerving suspense and packs more creeps than The Conjuring. Like the best examples of Gothic film and literature, Lord of Tears tells a horrible story with alarming beauty. Horror aficionados and Hollywood filmmakers alike should take note. This indie film is an absolute gem, one this blogger feels lucky to have discovered.
4 out of 5 Skull Heads.
|Release Date||October 25 2013|
|Starring||David Schofield, Alexandra Hulme, Euan Douglas|