Director Lawrie Brewster’s Lord of Tears is a film that contains many elements familiar to the seasoned horror crowd. Yet by mashing them all together through the lens of a culture less explored in modern horror it creates something worth hunting out.
Case in point is the titular Lord of Tears himself, the Owlman (David Schofield), who bears a striking resemblance to the villain of Stagefright: Aquarius. However Brewster and co have blended the idea of the owl-headed monster with the most modern of horror mythologies, the slender man. Combined with a distinct, deeply booming voice he’s the highlight and while never terrifying, he can be effectively scary and is consistently weird and spooky. And I mean spooky in the proper, old fashioned way. His appearances are also nicely spaced out, never being overused, but present enough for audiences to feel they’re getting their money’s worth.
When he’s not on screen the story is still intriguing whenever Lexy Hulme’s Eve Turner is present. She’s attractive and playful and adds the necessary warmth to a bitterly cold surroundings. Certain atmosphere-setting sequences do outstay their welcome, namely the swimsuit seduction (who’s somewhat jarring soundtrack accidentally alerts the viewer to the major twist far too obviously), and a ritualistic dance sequence reminiscent of Britt Ekland’s in The Wicker Man. However Hulme’s acting cannot be faulted and it would be surprising not to see her pop up in future films.
The isolated old house merits mention as well, and is used to make a commendably icy atmosphere, so cold you can almost feel it.
This Hammer by way of Fife, Scotland, can at times be rough around the edges, but the combination of tropes, mythologies and imagery makes this a unique film definitely worth checking out.
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