Not enough movies are shot in Bristol. Unless it’s about pirates, the odds of hearing a West Country accent on the silver screen are slim. It’s what made Stephen Merchant’s The Outlaws such a breath of fresh air on our TVs last year. We felt a real sense of pride spotting bits of the city we all know and love.
We expect that feeling to return next week (October 21) when the Bristol made horror movie Matriarch heads to Disney+. Bristol-based writer/director Ben Steiner’s feature debut was shot in the city, as well as the Somerset village of Sutton Mallet.
It tells the story of Laura (played by Jemima Roope) who, after surviving an overdose, is lured back to the village she grew up in by her estranged mother, Celia (played by Kate Dickie). Laura soon starts to secrete a strange black ooze, however, and the village’s shocking secrets bubble to the surface.
Local locations you might recognise include the village church scenes shot inside The Mount Without, as well as urban sections on Berkeley Square and close to the SS Great Britain. The rest of the film, Ben filmed in and around Sutton Mallet.
Ben Steiner’s previous work includes the atmospheric horror short film Urn, which was commissioned by Hulu for their inaugural horror film festival Huluween. Urn can be seen here. It was the success of this short that directly led to its spiritual successor, Matriarch.
Ben is not the only Bristol-based talent that worked on the horror movie Matriarch either. Finnish composer Suvi Eeva Äikäs wrote the music, having previously worked with Portishead’s Geoff Barrow and on Alex Garland’s sci-fi show DEVS.
Watch Matriarch worldwide on Disney+ from next Friday on October 21.