Lord of Tears
|Lord of Tears|
|Directed by||Lawrie Brewster|
|Written by||Sarah Daly|
Jamie Scott Gordon
|Music by||Andy McDonald,
|Edited by||Lawrie Brewster|
Hex Media, Dark Dunes Productions
Lord of Tears, also known as The Owlman, is a 2013 Scottish low-budget horror film directed by Lawrie Brewster and was his horror film directorial debut. The film first released on 25 October 2013 in Whitby at the Bram Stoker International Film Festival, where it won two awards. The film follows a Scottish schoolteacher that begins to see visions of the Owl Man, a strange figure that he was obsessed with as a child. The film was followed by The Black Gloves, again directed by Lawrie Brewster.
James (Euan Douglas) is an average school teacher that has been estranged from his mother for years and has only returned to her home to settle her estate after her death. This somewhat baffles his friend Allen (Jamie Scott Gordon), as his own father is undergoing a serious illness and is unlikely to recover. James discovers via letters that he stands to inherit two houses from her: one small and average, the other a large mansion that he is urged to never again visit. Confused, James ignores her request and moves into the house in hopes of making sense of everything as he cannot remember his early childhood but does vaguely remember living at the house during this time. Soon after he arrives he meets the beautiful American Eve (Lexy Hulme), who lives nearby in a set of renovated stables. He also finds evidence that he had a mental breakdown as a child, brought about by visions of a creature known as the "Owl Man" (David Schofield).
As James stays at the mansion he begins to fall in love with Eve while also discovering that the house sits atop a series of catacombs and that his parents dabbled in pagan magic in order to achieve fortune. He eventually begins to recall more from his past even as the Owl Man's presence begins to grow increasingly ominous, culminating in James discovering that his parents had been worshipping Moloch, who would grant wishes in exchange for a sacrifice. This causes James to regain his lost memories, discovering that Moloch had been manifesting himself as the Owl Man and that he was supposed to be the sacrifice that Moloch demanded. His parents were unwilling to offer James, so they took in an orphaned American girl as a nanny and murdered her in James's stead, claiming that as they had been her guardians, she was a reasonable substitute. James then realizes that this girl was Eve, which has the unfortunate effect of making Eve remember the events as well and turn into a menacing figure intent on driving James insane via a series of attacks. He tries to flee from the house but finds that Moloch will not allow him to leave.
When Allen arrives on the estate James believes that he is saved, only for Allen to instead attack and murder him. Clearly upset, Allen begs for James to forgive him even as he is killing him, explaining that Moloch came to him and offered to save his father (Neil Cooper) if he completed the sacrifice. The film then cuts to Allen driving his father home from the hospital and then flashes back to the mansion, where a light suddenly turns on in the catacombs, hinting that James's ghost has taken the place of Eve's and will remain there until another sacrifice is performed.
- David Schofield as the Owlman
- Lexy Hulme as Eve Turner
- Euan Douglas as James Findlay
- Jamie Scott Gordon as Allen Milton (as Jamie Gordon)
- Alan Ireby as Solicitor
- Neil Cooper as Michael Milton
- Nancy Joy Page as Flora May Findlay
- Graham Robertson as Henry Findlay
- Jock Ferguson as Taxi Driver
Brewster came up with the concept for Lord of Tears while researching Pagan folklore of the Scottish Highlands and discovering the Owlman. He also drew inspiration from Japanese horror films, as he saw that these films heavily utilized their native mythology, which prompted Brewster to want to create a film that did the same with Scottish mythology. Filming took place in Scotland in the Scottish Highlands, Dysart, and Kirkcaldy over a two-week period and completed production in fall of 2012. After filming was complete Brewster ran a successful Kickstarter campaign to gain funding to produce marketing materials, finish the movie's soundtrack, and to send the movie out to film festivals.
Lord of Tears had its world premiere on 25 October 2013 in Whitby at the Bram Stoker International Film Festival. It went on to feature at several other film festivals including the Belfast Film Festival and the H.P. Lovecraft Film Festival. The film received a limited DVD and Blu-ray collector's edition release in 2013 through Brewster's Hex Media and was packaged with the film's soundtrack, a printed booklet, and a downloadable electronic booklet. This release received special note for its shipping packaging, as purchasers received the DVD set wrapped in black tissue paper and topped by a single owl feather. The collector's version later sold out, prompting Hex Media to announce that they were going to release a new three disc special edition that would include new content and that the film would have a new edit, updated color treatment, and sound effects.
Critical reception for Lord of Tears has been largely positive and Bloody Disgusting praised the film's acting and later marked it as one of their best films for 2013. Starburst gave the film 8 out of 10 stars, commenting that the film's selling point might lead some into mistakenly believing that the film was a monster movie rather than the ghost story it is, but commented that "Brewster's confident direction allows the film to develop naturally." Ain't It Cool News cited the film's simplicity as a highlight as they felt that Brewster made effective use of the Scottish landscape. Fearnet's Scott Weinberg opined that while the movie did have a few "typical indie-style missteps", they were ultimately minor and that overall he enjoyed the film.
- Audience Award at the Bram Stoker International Film Festival (2013, won)
- Best Female Lead at the Bram Stoker International Film Festival (2013, won - Lexy Hulme)
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- Weinberg, Scott. "FEARNET Movie Review: 'Lord of Tears'". Fearnet. Retrieved 9 February 2014.
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