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Older Gods

average rating is 4 out of 5


William Hemingway


Posted on:

May 27, 2023

Film Reviews
Older Gods
Directed by:
David A. Roberts
Written by:
David A. Roberts
Rory Wilson, Ieuan Coombs

Chris' best bud Billy has a lot to answer for. He was getting himself involved in some pretty weird stuff and apparently killed some folk in his last few days on Earth. Chris (Wilson) still has some unresolved guilt over his best pal, too, and now since Billy's passing he's hoping that he can pay back some of that heavy feeling in his heart and get to the bottom of just what the hell was going on with his friend before he died.


Billy (Coombs), you see, knew that the end was coming and prepared for his demise by collating all of his research into a giant sized manilla folder, as well as recording some informative videotape messages for Chris to chow down on. Billy left all of this for Chris and asked him to take it all to a small, secluded cottage far into the Welsh countryside to then figure out for himself. Silly Billy.


When we pick up the story in Older Gods, Chris has just arrived at the cottage, alone, and already he's giving off vibes of a condemned man. The images we saw in the opening credits sequence of a ritual sacrifice may also have something to do with it. Soon Chris is getting himself neck deep into the conspiracy and wonder of Billy's research, which has a lot to do with the Primordial Fear known as Insignificance as well as the belief and apparent cult following of an older god known only as The Origin. It's not long before the same weird stuff starts happening to Chris and we see that despite his best intentions, Billy may well have damned him to the very same fate.


With this being our set-up and lead in to writer/director David A. Roberts' Older Gods, you may well be thinking to yourself, so far so standard, but in reality when you watch it on screen you understand that there's so much more. The cinematic vision of Roberts is infused into every frame, with a well crafted story that takes its time to be told and which drip feeds the viewer with the necessary details to keep you hooked. The first time the film dips into supernatural territory it sends a rush through your system and makes the hairs on the back of your neck stand up on end, as you realise that there's a whole other dimension to what's going on in that little, lonely cottage.


The photography from DoP Shawn Bishop creates a tense, brooding atmosphere and manages to switch from the claustrophobic confines of the cottage to the wide expansiveness of the Welsh countryside seamlessly. The visual effects sequences also add that extra level of depth to the story and imagery with some seriously impressive shots. Add into all of this some effective sound design and an emotionally charged standout performance from Rory Wilson as Chris and what Roberts has ended up with is a supernatural horror of Lovecraftian proportions which is able to shock, stun and shift you to the edge of your seat in equal measure.


Older Gods is a perfect example of what can be achieved with a relatively small budget and the skill which is shown in the film-making and storytelling really lifts the film to where it can be favourably compared to the likes of Ben Wheatley's Kill List (2011). A soft ending might feel more sentimental than satisfying to some, but for those looking for a genuinely different experience from the horror/slasher norm, Older Gods is definitely one to watch.

About the Film Critic
William Hemingway
William Hemingway
Indie Feature Film
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