Lord of Tears, written by Sarah Daly and directed by Lawrie Brewster is a gorgeous Gothic ghost story. James Findlay (Euan Douglas) has just been given the news of his mother's passing and, consequently, full ownership of his childhood home, a mansion set in the Scottish Highlands which he has only vague and scary memories of.
Upon arriving, James meets Eve Turner (Lexy Hulme), a lovely young lady living on the property. They become fast friends and Eve begins helping James uncover the mystery of what happened in this house when he was a boy. Eve looks like she has stepped out of an old movie and has an infectious love of life. Her hair is always perfect, her lipstick is never smeared, her clothes are impeccable and she's a breath of fresh air for James. There is a particularly hypnotic scene where Eve does a dance for James that really hi-lights all of these qualities. Initially, I grew a wee bit tired of this scene; It is gorgeous, but it started to feel lengthy and indulgent. Later on in the story, however, this dance scene made a lot more sense and upon a second and third viewing, I loved it more every time.
Yes, there is a delightful twist in the movie that you can see coming if you pay close attention. Some of the scenes in the film felt very Lynchian, but I say this in a good way. If you can frame and edit scenes in such a fashion that it looks beautiful, feels unsettling and doesn't feel overly artistic, more power to you. The glimpses that we get of Owl Man are all sublime. I feel compelled to bring up one tiny complaint with Owl Man, though; until you learn his story, he is extremely reminiscent of the owl mask wearing protagonist in the film Stagefright. There is also a side story involving one of James' friends that feels tacked on. When the reason for this story is revealed, it still feels mildly unnecessary. Overall, Lord Of Tears is a beautiful movie, a great story and I loved the feeling of it. The imagery is lovely and Hulme does an extraordinary job of inhabiting her character. Especially in the last fifteen minutes of the film; her looks and movements are the things nightmares are made of. This is one of those rare films that is effectively creepy without resorting to the use of unnecessary gore or f/x. It really is just a little jewel box of a gothic ghost story.
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