Lord of Tears (The Owlman) follows a man who returns to his childhood home after the passing of his estranged mother. Because of a past wrought with repressed trauma, he fights his reluctance to return to the house for the sake of morbid curiosity and unlocking the hidden memories. A monstrous figure from his childhood lurks in the shadows of the house, but is it malevolent or a warning?
Lord of Tears Review
Why this movie would go by The Owlman is beyond me, only because Lord of Tears sounds all-the-more menacing. As far as micro-budget horror goes, this Scottish indie film is towards the top of the list, but it's important to curtail expectations to a degree, because micro-budget films tend to lack certain amenities offered by larger budgets. In this case, it primarily refers to camera quality.
Sure, the camera choice could have been purposeful, but it's always been a style I'd rather avoid in film. In this case, I decided to tough through it because I'd heard such good things about this film, and I was for the most part able to do so, especially when we get to the house on a hill.
The acting and directing have some moments of incidental levity that lacked an edge necessary to pull off the scene. It makes some scenes difficult to process in the proper light. The awaking moments, a difficult scene to pull off effectively, and a pool scene come to mind most apparently, but the rest of the film has a touch of brilliance in its delivery.
The film's twist brings together some other scenes for me that I otherwise found laughable. But, even upon reflection of the revelation, it wasn't enough for me to dismiss all the itching problems I had. This film has received generally positive reviews from other sources, and I can see why, but I wasn't as overwhelmingly receptive to it as others.
I did, however, find the setting, imagery and woven tale to be of unique value and it drives the quality of the film. I found myself entrenched in the mystery as it burrowed deeper into our lead's psyche. The Lovecraftian-like treatment of insanity and the creature's design were fun additions.
I can't recommend Lord of Tears to everyone. I think films like this require a certain approach and willingness for patience to a certain degree. In it lies a diamond amidst the rough, with its style and expression, but for me, it took some effort to push through some moments. I lack the sophistication.
Horror Qualifier: 8/10
Horror Quality: 5/10
Film Quality: 6/10