Directed By: Jonas Akerlund
Written By: Dennis Magnusson & Jonas Akerlund
Inspired By the book LORDS OF CHAOS written by: Michael Moynihan & Didrik Soderlind
Cinematography: Par K. Emberg
Editor: Richard Krantz
Music By: Sigur Ros 

Cast: Rory Culkin, Jack Kilmer, Emory Cohen, Sky Ferreira, Valter Skarsgard, Anthony De La Torre, Jonathan Barnwell, Sam Coleman, Wilson Gonzalez, 

 Oslo, 1987. 17-year-old Euronymous is determined to escape his traditional upbringing and becomes fixated on creating ‘true Norwegian black metal’ with his band Mayhem. He mounts shocking publicity stunts to put the band’s name on the map, but the lines between show and reality start to blur. Arson, violence and a vicious murder shock the nation that is under siege by these Lords of Chaos.

This is based on a true story. So that it feels that at times the film is held back in action as it doesn’t want to get too far from what actually happened in real life. Even if it is filling in the blanks half the time of information it couldn’t have known.

The film actually shows restraint from usually provocateur Director Jonas Akerlund that offers a kind of maturity for him as a director butt hat might also be because as wild as the real life Story is it doesn’t need anything extra to make it tawdry or any messier.

In fact at times when sex and nudity comes into the picture it feels likely added to share in the more debaucherous antics even if it’s More like wall paper and used to show romance at one point and in another the amoral attitude of a character towards others. Though the film doesn’t shy away from violence in fact it is more graphic with that making sure it doesn’t feel fake like movie violence but more realistic so that when it happens you more cringe as your can imagine the pain and see how tortuous it is to the victim.

It shows that the narrator and leader of the band mayhem might have been in all of this for shock value and believed in something butt he also always saw it as more a marketing g tool and could understand the big picture more wanting to be successful and a star whereas the person he adds to the group proves to be a chase cow but also from the many times he has been dissed and made fun of before goes hard to prove himself the the actually beloved his own hype and buried himself deeper Into what he represents and it also shows just how the music may have inspired those around them to follow their more dark urges.

The film does want you to feel sympathy for certain. Characters but in the end it also feels like they end up with what they promoted or what they Might have had coming to them living by the gun, die by the knife even if not necessarily doing it as wholeheartedly, As after his lead singer dies he tries to capitalize on the suicide as much as he can more for shock value.

There is a scene in the film where a friend of theirs actually goes out and succumbs to his violent urges and then admits to them the crimes. It in Effect shows the different ways of thinking g between the two elements who seem to be having a rivalry over being the true leader of the band and over the friends they ah g around with. It also shows how off the wall the characters are starting to behave in. Trying to live by some kind of ideology.

Which might be why Jonas Akerlund choose to make this filmy the themes fit right up his alley as well as the material being shocking and allowing for more gritty and dangerous visuals.

The actors are all believable. Jack Kilmer makes his presence felt with his suicidal demented character. Actually comes across as the most fragile i can’t say innocent, but even with his name death you can tell his death wish and we are informed of his past that probably messed him up and once he is gone. The film and it’s characters lose their innocence to a degree and start down a bad road.

Rory Culkin truly shows his character is more about the image and talking big but having a more rationale mind. Emory Cohen usually excels in these types of roles the kind of egocentric billy and villain. Who gains power after kind of being bullied and ridiculed at first. You can tell there is something a little off about his character. That he is searching for something. Though another big clue that he is different is that we barely know anything about him from before. For most of the characters we are told or shown their pasts. Him what we see from the moment we meet him is what we get. For being a poser and then begins to believe in the life and himself. Where as the other character preaching not being a poser might actually be the biggest one.

As Cohen’s character starts the more anti-social behavior by beginning to but. Die. Churches and Culkin whose character suggested it more for publicity then starts to take credit for putting the ideas In his friends heads once they begin to commit different acts. Cohen’s character Varge is also mad at Culkin’s character supposedly ripping him off when it comes to money owed for his hit album And feels he funneled the moment into paying for the band mayhem’s recordings. Plus when the friends pass Along a joke about killing Varge when he is mad at him for getting arrested and doing an interview. Varge takes as seriously and as a sign that he has to get him first.

Which might encapsulate what the movie is about other the. Sticking to the true story which is when keeping it real goes wrong.

By the end the film doesn’t shy away from how idiotic these guys were to a degree. Who beloved themselves smarter than others and the world. As in their crimes and in their seeking publicity.

As always the ending does offer a bit of remorse by making it seem Like Cohen’s character wants to remain friends and seems to be trying to turn over a new leaf.

Though I will warn you most interest in the film will be decided by if you actually find the story interesting. If you enjoy true crime it is interesting as the film sets the mood, tone and atmosphere trying to set up the characters and mindsets. Even if it doesn’t tell or educate you on the actual Black Death metal scene. It’s only interest is in this and the crowd around them. Event hen only a select members.

Though if you have read the book or the details behind the crimes. This might not interest you as much. If only to see them dramatized and recreated.

Grade: C+

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