Thursday, October 31, 2013

Lord of Tears (2013)

Lord of Tears is the first co-production between Hex Media and Dark Dunes. It is an attempt at making a different type of horror film and revitalizing the classic, supernatural chiller style of the British Hammer horror that played an influence on Lord of Tears director Lawrie Brewster. It is also rich in Pagan influenced mythos, providing an avenue of research for its protagonist, giving it a Lovecraftian feel.

Lord of Tears just recently (a few days ago) won two awards at the 2013 Bram Stoker International Film Festival: 1) The Audience Award and 2) Best Female Lead. My congratulations go out to the production, cast, and crew. I had a feeling it was going to be good, but Lord of Tears just turned out to be incredible.

The story concerns a school teacher's, Jamie's (Euan Douglas), vague nightmares and unsettling childhood memories and his drive to uncover the mystery behind these visions at his inherited estate. Despite a warning letter from his recently deceased mother, Flora (Nancy Joy Page), he’s driven back to his childhood house, which seems to be the site of a past traumatic incident for Jamie, one he does not seem to clearly remember. An entity seemingly related to his past trauma, a tall figure with long arms, the head of an owl, Victorian clothing, and intimidating talons, manifests at times in front of Jamie. As nightmares take further hold on him, he begins to wonder if he’s gone mad. All isn’t entirely bad, though, thanks to a young, lovely lady employed in the area, Evie (Lexy Hulme), who Jamie starts feeling a romantic connection to as she aids him in uncovering the mystery behind the Baldurrock House.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Cthulhu (2007)

Cthulhu probably stands as one of the more controversial attempts at bringing the Cthulhu mythos to the screen, exploring certain themes completely absent from H.P. Lovecraft’s fictional writing. It’s a totally modern take on the novella The Shadow over Innsmouth that, at its core, still ends up feeling like a very true embodiment of Lovecraft horror.

Taking the more suggestive and indescribable approach, not much is seen yet much is insinuated. Hearing the radio news reporting on wild polar bears going extinct and the oceans rising, amongst others, suggests a kind of world that is falling apart, an uneasy feeling of an approaching end. Blending this with an emphasis on a beautiful but ominous dark ocean, it really feels like Cthulhu might be rising very soon and the Old Ones will be claiming what is rightfully theirs. The East Coast New England settings fans of the author are more in tune with have been transferred over to the West Coast in Astoria Oregon, and the setting is an interesting and fitting shift that doesn’t feel disagreeable at all. There’s just something about seaside towns that work so well for the Lovecraft sensibility. Why, after all, cannot the Old Ones haunt a port town on the other side of the country?