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  • Scarlet Witch

Older Gods

Dir. David A. Roberts (2023)

A man investigates an apocalyptic cult that caused the death of his friend.


- “There’s too much we don’t know about what lives in the darkness outside our doors. We sit ignorant in the comfort of our mundane lives. Safe in the knowledge that we can comprehend every possible danger. But for those of you that ignore that friend with the crazy stories about the end of the world, maybe, just maybe, you should listen.” —

 

Older Gods is the story of Chris Rivers, a man who ventures deep into the Welsh countryside to investigate the suspected suicide of his best friend, Billy. As details emerge and clues are found, it becomes increasingly clear that things are not as they seem, and there is a much darker reality at play. What follows is a Lovecraftian tale of cosmic horror, chronicling Chris’s descent into madness at the hands of an apocalyptic cult. 


— “Your God is a coward.” —

 

Written and directed by David A. Roberts, Older Gods is the first feature film of Wagyu Films, a small production company that has, up until now, focused on commercial work. This uncharted territory, combined with a minuscule budget and relatively unknown cast, had me walking into this screening anxious as could be over how I was going to come up with something positive to say about this film.

 

…I’ve never been so glad to have been so misguided. 

 

Older Gods was delightful - in the darkest way possible, of course, as this is a horror film after all. 

 

— “All that you love will bleed.” —

 

This film was smart. The script is strong; dealing with complex emotions and character development, while also fabricating the lore behind a doomsday cult. I find that a lot of newer independent releases present a compelling idea, and then leave it up to the audience to essentially fill in the details. I call it Implication Horror - there are hints of what’s at hand, but never any real confirmation or payoff. Call it what you want, but to me, it’s lazy storytelling. David A. Roberts heard my cry, and he delivered a story that doesn’t just imply action, he shows us, he explains it to us, but he doesn’t coddle us, as he does make us question. Only instead of questioning the plot, we’re questioning our reality in the grand scheme of the cosmos. This is a think piece that will stick with you long after it’s done visually entertaining you. 


— “You stand alone in the maelstrom.” —

 

This film was also smart in terms of execution. The Cinematography was STUNNING! Shaun Bishop, the Director of Photography, used natural light, rich earth tones, and a combination of claustrophobic and wide shots to illicit feelings of realism and voyeurism. The audience is forced to see exactly what Chris is seeing, and as such, it feels as though we are right along side him during this harrowing journey into the unknown. It is also worth mentioning that the movie’s climax takes place in broad daylight - no nighttime, low light, impossible to see, cop out shots here. Just the pure, raw brutality of man facing his own demise. 

 

— “Open the door, light the way.” —

 

Older Gods was an unexpected treat. There was no pretension or derision here. It is simply a well done film, from every angle, that I will gladly recommend. 

 

Older Gods is now available to rent or buy on most VOD platforms. You can find more info on the film, including behind the scenes footage, on the wagyufilmsofficial Instagram page. 

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