LORD OF MISRULE is a new horror movie that deals with religion versus lore and tradition in a small town. Also, there is a supernatural element to it, but the people are what I found the scariest. Read our full Lord of Misrule movie review here!
LORD OF MISRULE is a horror movie about faith and belief. Not only for you as a person but rather for a whole community. It has a touch of the Dutch Moloch on Shudder, the brilliant The Ritual on Netflix, or even the HBO miniseries The Third Day.
Also, since this is the Holiday season, a comparison to Krampus isn’t completely off.
The horror vibe in this movie is spot-on, but more so (for me, anyway) during the first half. Not only does it deal with faith and belief, but it also deals with the power of an actual supernatural presence. In other words, something you cannot ignore.
Continue reading our Lord of Misrule movie review below. Find it in theaters and On Demand from December 8, 2023.
A quirky small town
In Lord of Misrule, we follow Rebecca Holland (Tuppence Middleton). She’s recently taken over as the Vicar in a small town Church. All is going pretty well though her daughter, Grace, has been having trouble settling in. All this seems to change as Grace (Evie Templeton) gets to be the “Harvest Angel” during the harvest festival.
Unfortunately, this role ends with Grace disappearing and a desperate search beginning. A search that seems strangely off from the start. The police appear slow in physically doing anything and opt for searching their home and asking the same questions over and over.
Rebecca tries to use all the good relationships she’s built with the people of the small town over the past ten months. However, over just a few days, it’s obvious that this quicky small town has a strange side. Whether sinister or not, is what she needs to find out. And fast.
For me, the two older women, Ida and Miri, who can’t stop giggling and laughing was such a simple scary thing that just felt strangely off. Yes, in a sinister way, but not due to any actions on their part.
Also, Ralph Ineson (The VVitch) plays a key role throughout the movie and his mere presence is always perfect for any horror movie or thriller. We’ll be seeing more of Ralph Ineson in 2024 as he’s in both Nosferatu and The First Omen.
Religion versus faith
There’s a lot of focus on the concept of faith as not necessarily being tied to religion. This is something I can relate to as I don’t much care for organized religion, but have no problem with faith and belief systems as such. If anything, Lord of Misrule points out that any and every faith can have issues.
Whether you believe in an all-powerful God or a traditional harvest lore spirit named Gallawgog are two sides to the same coin.
Both expect followers to do what is expected regardless of the consequences for living human beings. In the name of a belief system that they fear might have dire consequences. There is a brutal origin story for Gallowgog which tied into Christianity.
This particular element of Lord of Misrule was a stroke of pure brilliance. As was the actual ending, I must admit. I didn’t see that coming. Even though I preferred the eerie horror vibe of the first half more than the overt horror of the second half, the ending of Lord of Misrule definitely worked for me.
Watch Lord of Misrule in theaters or On Demand
Lord of Misrule was directed by William Brent Bell. This is a name many horror fans will recognize. William Brent Bell previously directed The Boy and Orphan: First Kill to mention just two of the most well-known horror titles.
The screenplay comes from Tom de Ville, and I can’t say I’m surprised that a man wrote this. The female lead is good, but some of the elements involving somewhat gender-stereotypical actions and reactions just didn’t work for me.
Or to put it plainly; They made me immediately think: “A man must’ve written this!” which is never good. It speaks to something being more about how a man views women rather than how women do. It doesn’t ruin anything for the story overall, but it did make me stop and take notice.
This horror movie had its World Premiere at Screamfest Film Festival 2023. I can imagine audiences enjoyed it there. Also, I have to mention that I loved the song during the end credits. In the style of an old folk song sharing the folklore story we’ve just witnessed, I could not help but be mesmerized.
LORD OF MISRULE will be out in theaters and On Demand on December 8, 2023.
Director: William Brent Bell
Writer: Tom de Ville
Stars: Tuppence Middleton, Ralph Ineson, Matt Stokoe, Evie Templeton
LORD OF MISRULE follows Rebecca Holland, who has recently taken over as priest of a small town. When her young daughter Grace goes missing at the local harvest festival, a desperate search begins. The closer they edge towards finding Grace, the more secrets emerge from the town’s dark past. Soon, Rebecca must decide just how much she is willing to sacrifice to rescue her daughter from the grip of evil.