DVD Review: Matriarch (2018)

April 1, 2019

Written by DanXIII

Daniel XIII; the result of an arcane ritual involving a King Diamond album, a box of Count Chocula, and a copy of Swank magazine, is a screenwriter, director, producer, actor, artist, and reviewer of fright flicks…Who hates ya baby?

Rachel (Charlie Blackwood) and Matt Hopkins (Scott Vickers, who also wrote and directed the film) becoming stranded in the Scottish countryside after havin’ a slow speed run-in with a rando tree. Soon our heroes find themselves at a secluded farm owned by Bob and Agnes Fairbairn (Alan Cuthbert and Julie Hannan respectively) who offer them shelter for the night while being mega-creepy infatuated with Rachel’s pregnancy.

Speaking of “mega-creepy”, Rachel and Matt discover that the Fairbairn’s daughter Faith (Briony Monroe) is actually Ellie Adams, a child that went missing years before…in fact all of the family’s children once belonged to someone else…and now they want Rachel’s unborn son to add to their unholy brood!

Matriarch took me by surprise…I expected some sort of uncomfortable, pregnancy based torture porn affair, but instead I got a flick balls deep in atmosphere, tone, and world building…though the “uncomfortable” element does come into play…but more on that in a bit.

Set among rolling pastoral vistas that are beautiful yet menacing in their remoteness and isolation (not to mention the often slate-grey skies), this picture is absolutely drenched in subliminal terror…in it’s environs anyway. Not so subtle are the Fairbairn clan themselves, and none are as malignant as the matriarch Agnes. Julie Hannan is the living embodiment of terror made flesh and she fills the screen with palpable dread every time she appears that makes this film one hell of a nail-biting horror show.

Adding to the dire goings-on is the horror both Matt and Rachel must endure with the former stripped and buried alive, and the latter chained like an animal in the Fairbairn’s barn. These elements truly illustrate how debased and inhuman our antagonists view those outside their circle…simply livestock to bare fruit to further the ranks of their depraved family.

Look, I was unfamiliar with this Scott Vickers cat going into Matriarch, but if this is how he’s going to do our beloved horror biz you can bet I’ll be keeping my putrid peepers on his arcane ass…not literally, just like watching any fright flicks he makes…I mean his actual ass is in this picture, if that’s your bag…

Anyway, Matriarch is sinister, atmospheric, and full to the brim with seat squirming menace…just the way we likes ’em ’round here…so watch it already!



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