Lord of Tears is a 2013 British horror film directed by Lawrie Brewster (For We Are Many; The Devil’s Machine; The Black Gloves; The Unkindness of Ravens) from a screenplay written by Sarah Daly (Kids vs. Monsters). Also known as The Owlman
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 that he stands to inherit two houses from his mother: 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. He then 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)…
“It’s hands down one of the most haunting and unique movies of the year. It could’ve done with some trimming, especially during a couple of the end sequences, but that’s my only complaint – and it’s a small one. It’s a low-budget supernatural throwback that maintains an unshakable sense of unease throughout until it’s shocking (and appropriate) conclusion.” Bloody Disgusting
“Lord of Tears is very compelling viewing, atmospheric with a great sense of loneliness, regret, sadness and horror, beautiful and at the same time chilling it stands out from the pack.” The Rotting Zombie
“The effect of the owl-headed man simply standing in the forest is the stuff of nightmares. The film dissects the meanings of the owl in various cultures and highlights just what makes the common forest creature so damn creepy.” Ain’t It Cool News
“Brewster maintains the tension throughout the slow-burn of the film’s first half and builds with small reveals of Owly intercut with other recurring elements of James’s nightmares. Tight sound and visual editing combine with the musical score, by Andy MacDonald and Craig Sutherland, to keep this going as the film rushes to its conclusion.” The Horror Hothouse
“Brewster’s film isn’t perfect; its tone is uneven at times, something made most apparent in a misplaced swimming pool scene that’s scored with a grating piece of pop-fluff which is like a pothole on a freshly tarmacked road. The Owlman’s creeping, gothic pace is unlikely to please the masses, but with admirable detail to Scottish folklore, a knowing nod to J-horror, and a deep-rooted air of menace about it, it’s one of the best home-grown horror’s I’ve seen for some time.” The Schlock Pit
Cast and characters:
David Schofield … Owl Man
Alexandra Hulme … Eve Turner (as Lexy Hulme)
Euan Douglas … James Findlay
Jamie Scott Gordon … Allen Milton (as Jamie Gordon)
Alan Ireby … Solicitor
Neil Cooper … Michael Milton
Nancy Joy Page … Flora May Findlay
Graham Robertson … Henry Findlay
Jock Ferguson … Taxi Driver
Ardgour House, Ardgour, Highland, Scotland
104 minutes (original cut) | 85 minutes (director’s cut)
Aspect ratio: 2.35: 1
The film was first shown on October 25, 2013, at the Bram Stoker International Film Festival in Whitby, England.
Filmed in 2012.
Full film free to watch online:
MOVIES and MANIA rating:
The dialogue is trite – Eve never mentions which Southern US city she is from which is entirely unbelievable – and the editing is choppy but this is worth a watch as it has a certain charm particularly during the Owlman scenes. That said, it feels like an extended short.