By: Movie Snurb (Three Beers) –
In the early 90s in Oslo, Norway, a kid who refers to himself as Euronymous (Rory Culkin) decides to create Norwegian Black Metal with his small band “Mayhem”. Their first lead singer kills himself, so they go on the lookout for a new lead singer and in that process they find Varg (Emory Cohen) a legitimately terrifying human who has more than creating music on his mind. Euronymous’ attempt to birth Norwegian Black Metal results in a lot of arson and multiple murders. It’s a tough watch due to it being a true story and how horrifying these criminal acts are.
This film is made by the performances, especially Rory Culkin as Euronymous and Emory Cohen as Varg. Their characters almost juxtapose each other. Rory is filled to the brim with emotion loving the music and trying to give off this persona of evil, but he just wants to make music and make money. Then Emory Cohen as Varg is cold, callous, and does care as much about the music as he does about committing chaos. Cohen is terrifying because he feels real, and it makes Varg all the more horrifying to know that this was a real man and he committed these atrocities. In addition, Sky Ferreira has come a long way since The Green Inferno. She doesn’t have much to do with her small role, but she is very good as the supporting girlfriend who begins to show Rory the correct way.
I also think the violence in this film works. At times, it is almost too much, but this world of death/black metal is all about gore and violence so it only makes sense that a film about this scene should be overly gory and violent. Also, the violence isn’t flashy or showy like most films, it’s brutal disgusting and honest. The stab wounds look and feel real, making it much harder to stomach all of the violence in the film.
The movie as a whole could’ve been tighter. The timeline seems to get messy after Euronymous gets the record store, and claims to have a “record label.” I started to get lost in what Mayhem was doing when Euronymous had the record store. Also, at times I would get confused as to who was who. Most of the supporting characters were not fleshed out, so they would get lost in the background as they blend together with their pale skin and long black hair.
I understand the need to make this film visceral, violent, and over-the-top to go along with the black metal atmosphere. However, at times it was too much. They were being such terrible people for so long that they get their point across; the gore and horribleness almost gets redundant.
The script could have been cleaner and a little less visceral/redundant and the supporting characters should’ve been fleshed out, but the film is still a story worth telling about stardom, wanting stardom, and knowing when to get help when you need it.
Lords of Chaos (2019) Drinking Game
Do a Shot: for every crime committed
Take a Drink: for every moment of blood.
Shotgun a Beer: every time someone dies.
Do a Shot: every time they actually play music.