Watching the growth of a filmmaker’s career as it develops from the outset can be an interesting endeavor, and if you’ve been keeping up with Cole Abaius’ Short Film of the Day series, then you’ve been doing just that with director Lawrie Brewster. So far we’ve gotten shorts from Brewster called Turnip Head and Empire, which showed off the director’s penchant for visual experimentation, fascination with the macabre, and ability to mix several different types of filmmaking into one strange but cohesive piece.
And now you can see how Brewster has taken what he’s learned up to this point and utilized it in a feature-length film. Said feature is called Lord of Tears, and it’s a ghost story that takes place in a mansion in the Scottish Highlands. Due to its Scottish setting, Lords of Tears manages to take your typical haunted house tale and turn it on its head a bit by adding in some Celtic mythology, which, as you can see in this trailer for the film, mostly manifests itself in the form of freaky owl-men who dress in very dapper attire.
Of course, the conjuring of clawed bird-people may be referencing ancient stuff so weird that it’s beyond most of our knowledge bases, but thankfully ignorance doesn’t make the imagery in these clips any less freaky; and impressively so given the modesty of the resources they were created with. If you need any more of a concrete idea of what this film is about before deciding to give an obscure Scottish indie a chance, its writer, Sarah Daly, chooses to describe her script by saying that it’s “The Wicker Man meets The Woman in Black.”
You had me at The Wicker Man.