Lords of Chaos is both a fascinating and terrifying look at how far some people will go. Both to impress others and assert themselves. Also, it’s the story of Norwegian black metal band Mayhem by Jonas Åkerlund.

Lords of Chaos is definitely the perfect title for this movie. It’s the story of how the Norwegian black metal band “Mayhem” started. And it’s told from the point of view of the band member who’s murdered by another of the band members.

Yeah, that should really set the tone for you.

The genres attached to Lords of Chaos are drama, horror, and thriller. All of which applies to the way this story is told.

Norway in English

For anyone concerned with any language barriers, you need not fear. This movie is in English. And I’m not exactly a fan of this. I mean, all the Norwegian names of people and places are still used. And the movie also appears to be shot in Norway.

Basically, we have a lot of actors speaking English with the occasional hint of a Nordic-sounding accent. I didn’t like it for The Snowman and I don’t like it now. However, the movie itself makes up for most of this.

Whether you’re into the genre of music or not isn’t really important. I mean, sure, you’ll probably enjoy the music if you’re into black metal, but the story alone is reason enough to watch it.

Lords of Chaos (2018) review

A lot of violence – and blood

There are plenty of uncomfortable moments in Lords of Chaos. For me personally, I really did not like the moments where animals are harmed. Or rather, we see dead animals and hear talk about how some people enjoy hurting them.

I don’t care what kind of music you’re into. If you actually enjoy hurting animals (or seeing animals get hurt) then you’re not a good person. That’s right, I said it.

And there’s plenty of data to back up this as a fact. Also, it’s my pet peeve (pun intended) just check out my author bio.

In general, Lords of Chaos does have a lot of violence and just downright nasty moments. For the most part, however, it’s between consenting adults that both want to engage in the chaos.

This has always been part of this “scene” so I can only applaud the movie for including it. Also, it’s insanely unsanitary in a way that was much more “normal” 25-30 years ago, which is when the story takes place.

Lords of Chaos (2018) review

Jonas Åkerlund knows his metal

Director Jonas Åkerlund has directed an impressive amount of music videos. And he covers all genres as the director of several music videos for artists such as Britney Spears, Madonna, Metallica, Rammstein, and U2.

Still, Jonas Åkerlund is actually a metalhead at heart. This shines through in the best of ways when he’s telling the story of Mayhem with Lords of Chaos. The story is told very frankly in a way that covers both the seriousness and ridiculousness of it all.

Also, it’s interesting to see a lot of semi-familiar faces since the movie stars both a Kilmer and a Skarsgård. This time it’s Jack Kilmer (son of Val Kilmer) and Valter Skarsgård (a younger Skargård brother).

The two stars of the movie are Rory Culkin (Jack Goes Home) and Emory Cohen (Detour), who both steal every scene they’re in. Rory Culkin is the one telling the story while Emory Cohen is his friend-turned-adversary. You should watch this movie to see those two!

Lords of Chaos is currently playing at film festivals worldwide. We just screened it at CPH PIX 2018 in Denmark.


Director: Jonas Åkerlund
Cast: Rory Culkin, Anthony De La Torre, Emory Cohen, Jack Kilmer, Valter Skarsgård


A teenager’s quest to launch Norwegian Black Metal in Oslo in the early 1990s results in a very violent outcome.

I write reviews and recaps on Heaven of Horror. And yes, it does happen that I find myself screaming, when watching a good horror movie. I love psychological horror, survival horror and kick-ass women. Also, I have a huge soft spot for a good horror-comedy. Oh yeah, and I absolutely HATE when animals are harmed in movies, so I will immediately think less of any movie, where animals are harmed for entertainment (even if the animals are just really good actors). Fortunately, horror doesn't use this nearly as much as comedy. And people assume horror lovers are the messed up ones. Go figure!
Karina "ScreamQueen" Adelgaard
Latest posts by Karina "ScreamQueen" Adelgaard (see all)