Sometimes a little indie horror film from another country can end up surprising me and practically blow my socks off from how effective it can be. I got a taste of that again this Halloween season with a little independent horror movie from Scotland of all places. A film so richly Gothic and haunting it will stay with for a while, A film that went completely under the radar last year even to horror fans, that film is LORD OF TEARS.
After the death of his mother, bookish school teacher James inherits his families estate in Baldurrock. Strangely enough, although she bequeathed it to him, she asks that he never go there. James hasn’t been to the house since he was a child, when events took place that his memory has since repressed. Hoping to make sense of his mother’s request, James moves into Baldurrock House there he meets the estate caretaker Eve, a beautiful american woman who is very kind and flirty with James but there is something just a little off about her also while at the house he begins to experience recurring nightmares of a man with a giant owl’s head and enormous talons. The owl speaks in esoteric riddles and rhyme – but is he trying to help James, or lead him to his destruction?
Now even before Owlman shows up in the film, “Lord of Tears” already packs on the haunting atmosphere and creepy visuals right from the beginning. Poor James starts having these nightmares featuring frantic creepy images and all that is before the Owlman shows up to haunt James even further. that at first dont make any sense but near the ending it all comes together. For james and the audience the line between what it real and what is a nightmare start to blur. We are not entirely sure for most of the film if there really is a Owlman haunting James or perhaps James is losing his mind from grief and repressed childhood memories. And then there is a Eve, a strange yet flirty woman who enters James life when he gets to the House and for some odd reason she is very kind and caring to James right from the get go. But the reason why is revealed near the end in a moment that even shocked me. Now dont expect any gore or nudity in this film because it does not rely on it. Instead Lord of Tears relies on a incredibly gothic and haunting atmosphere with the eerie fog shrouded Scottish landscape, the old scottish mansion which james resides in, the frantic, creepy and cryptic nightmares our poor character goes through along with the Mystery of the house and his parents that he keeps digging into to and finally the Owlman himself. A folk-lore-ish Creature then whenever he shows up the whole film and even when I was watching the Owlman seems to command attention, he is a foreboding presence throughout the film and lends to the thick atmosphere of dread from beginning to end.
So this Halloween season if you want something much more Haunting and Gothic but want something different from the typical ghost. Do whatever you can to seek out Lord of Tears. It is a Gothic and incredibly haunting tour de force of melancholy, mystery and madness. – James J. Coker