Written and directed by David A. Roberts, Older Gods is an exemplary example of low-budget horror relying on imagination and tone to fill the viewer with dread. A horror movie that calls to the darkness that surrounds the universe and suggests that we really are just nothing in the grand scheme of things.
Rory Wilson plays Chris, a man feeling a lot of guilt about the passing of his best friend Billy (Ieuan Coombs). They had drifted apart as Billy became wrapped up in some unusual conspiracy theories surrounding end of the world cults. Then Billy apparently killed some people and committed suicide, supposedly.
Chris is not convinced by this story, especially as Billy had collected all his research and passed them on to Chris. It’s this research that Chris will study over the film’s runtime to find out the truth. A truth that he may wish he never actually uncovered. A truth surrounding an ancient cult that worships an older god known as The Origin.
We are all but a dream, and should The Origin awake, we will all disappear into the ether.
It’s a horrifying prospect, but it’s not real, is it?
That is what Older Gods wants you to think about and it really immerses you into the possibly that we really are so insignificant. The story is expertly drip-fed, layers upon layers added as the film goes on, but always careful to not reveal the full truth. Older Gods requires some imagination but thanks to wonderful performances by the cast, ominous music, incredible visuals, and a HP Lovecraft tone, it will send your mind soaring into dark places.
The entire film oozes menacing atmosphere and the film makes both the interior of the cottage Chris is staying in, and the countryside outside feel claustrophobic. It’s movie that makes you feel dread. Yet, there are also moments of peace and serenity too, emotional touches that really highlight the quality in acting.
It’s slow pacing and subtle story-telling will not appeal to everyone though. This is one of those horror movies you must sink into, to really enjoy. Thankfully, it does a hell of a lot to make that possible.
Older Gods (2023)
The Final Score - 8/10