Welcome to Norway in the late 1980’s; a land of wealth, a high rate of suicide and Kings with really cool top hats. Now, meet Øystein Aarseth (aka Euronymous) who may seem like your average angsty teen but you couldn’t be more wrong. In Euronymous’s young life he would become a staple and one of the founders of the early Norwegian Black Metal scene and director Jonas Åkerlund’s Lords of Chaos tells the story of his infamous band Mayham and the events that led to a series of church burnings. Talk about a baptism by fire.
Rarely do you find a movie that reminds you that sometimes truth is stranger than fiction. In the case of Lords of Chaos it doesn’t just remind you. It practically shoves it down your throat. It’s based on truth, lies and what actually happened and, without a doubt, it’s the most bizarre biographical-based movie I’ve seen in recent years. Which is just one of the many things that makes it so damn great.
Based on the book of the same name (written by Michael Jenkins Moynihan and Didrik Søderlind) Lords of Chaos is undoubtedly one of the best movies I’ve seen in a long time. Calling it perfect might be a bit daring to say although Lords of Chaos does come pretty close. It’s equal parts horrifying, clever, and so genuinely interesting that it’s easy to forget that everything going on is based in reality.
Jonas Åkerlund took a chance telling the story in Euronymous’s perspective but that seriously paid off. Of course, what good are chances like that if you don’t have the actors to back it up? Lords of Chaos is in no short supply of talented cast with my personal favorite being Emory Cohen as the film’s antagonist, Varg. Jack Kilmer also deserves major props for his haunting but wonderful performance as former Mayham vocalist Per Yngve Ohlin aka Dead.
Over all, Lords of Chaos is an impressively crafted, well thought out film that has a healthy dose of shock value to give it that ‘horror movie’ feel with a twist of the darkest humor. No amount of rambling I do is ever going to do this movie justice, so let me just say you must check it out.
Lords of Chaos will be opening in theaters February 8th and available on demand February 22nd.
Wicked Rating: 9/10
Director(s): Jonas Åkerlund
Writer(s): Dennis Magnusson & Jonas Åkerlund, based on the book of the same name
Stars: Rory Culkin, Emory Cohen, Sky Ferreira, Jack Kilmer, Valter Skarsgård
Initial Release: February 2019
Studio/ Production Co: Gunpowder & Sky
Run time: 112 Minutes