4.5 out of 5 stars (4.5 / 5)

Take Spun and sub drugs for Norwegian Black Metal.

Being a huge fan of director Jonas Åkerlund’s first feature film Spun, I always make a bee-line for his latest creations. Again we are immersed into the lives of a bunch of total misfits, but with a witty twist. Both films even have the same intro text, ‘Based on the truth and lies’. In this case, loosely based on the book Lords of Chaos, which outlines the true story of the emergence of the Norwegian Black Metal genre.

We follow Euronymous (Rory Culkin) as he establishes his new band Mayhem. As members of his inner circle come and go, the stakes get higher for who is the most hardcore.

Rory Culkin is convincing, but Emory Cohen does such a great job in his role as Varg that I didn’t even recognise the guy. If Faust looks familiar it’s because he’s played by Valter Skarsgård (Bill’s younger brother).

The background score is by Sigur Rós. This may seem an unlikely choice, but there isn’t much in the way of live performance in the film overall, so a more moody accompaniment was appropriate. It works well against the rainy Oslo backdrop and the drama that ensues.

Yes, there are some pretty gory scenes (there was even a warning message at the ticket desk before the screening) but it’s all part of the ride. For the sake of brutality and authenticity it makes sense to have it in there. You may just need to glance away during those parts if it gets too much, as I did.

The comedic moments in this are effortless and may be the crowning glory of the entire film. They bring a sense of balance in contrast to the seriousness of what is going on.

Lords of Chaos premieres in Sweden at the Stockholm Film Festival on November 9.

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