‘Matriarch’ is a horror film about a woman named Laura Birch who gets infected by an unusual disease after she survives an overdose. When she returns to her home to recover from this incident, she comes face to face with something terrifying. Written and directed by Ben Steiner, the film explores the toxic relationship between the protagonist and her mother while combining genres such as body horror and black comedy.
Initially titled ‘Wormeater,’ the overall narrative of ‘Matriarch’ carries a dysphoric and somber aura, which can be attributed to the seemingly desolate backdrops. The dull blue and greyish overtones elevate the moody effect and add to the eerie vibe. These aspects of the movie pique the audience’s curiosity about where the film was shot. So let’s look at all the locations where ‘Matriarch’ was filmed.
Matriarch Filming Locations
‘Matriarch’ was filmed in a few locations in the Southwest region of England, known for its remoteness and tranquility, among other things. In conversation with Starburst Magazine, writer-director Ben Steiner revealed that the production of his feature debut was met with several obstacles. He said, “My son tested positive for Covid on the evening of day one, so I had to spend the first week of my first feature directing in isolation via walkie-talkie, first from inside my car and then from inside a sealed tent!”
Back to WORMEATERland for a jam-packed one day pick up shoot. Now THAT’S a wrap! 🎬🥵👍🏻 pic.twitter.com/Hkvp2bvKAx
— Ben Steiner Filmmaker (@BenSteiner_Film) May 28, 2022
Following that, the film’s lead actor, Jemima Rooper (Laura), also tested positive for COVID-19, which added a further dent in the filming process. After rescheduling and multiple operational issues, the team put their best game forward. Ultimately, the filming commenced in November 2021 and concluded in January 2022, with an additional day-long pick-up shoot in late May 2022. Let’s look at the specific locations where ‘Matriarch’ was filmed.
One of the major filming locations for ‘Matriarch’ is the city of Bristol, which is also historically a county. Situated alongside River Avon, the place is a cultural hub and lies between the counties of Gloucestershire and Somerset. At the time of filming, writer-director Ben Steiner had lived in the city for eight years and found the landscape suitable for the narrative.
— Ben Steiner Filmmaker (@BenSteiner_Film) November 22, 2021
In an interview with Geek Girl Authority, Steiner said, “I’m into the landscape around here, which is damp, swampy and sludgy and anciently mystical. So, that got pulled into it.” The film also visited The Mount Without to shoot a few of its scenes. Residing on St. Michael’s Hill near the University of Bristol, the place used to be a church and has a history of over 900 years. However, now it has been transformed into a creative space for gatherings and also acts as a wedding venue.
— Ben Steiner Filmmaker (@BenSteiner_Film) December 15, 2021
Besides this, the movie was shot at and around Berkeley Square and closer to Brunel’s SS Great Britain. While Berkeley Square is a luxury boutique hotel in Clifton, a stunning suburb of Bristol, SS Great Britain is a museum ship that used to be a passenger steamship. Due to their history, the aforementioned sites have an ancient and gloomy aesthetic which adds the much-need bleakness to the narrative. Other significant shows and movies filmed in Bristol include ‘His Dark Materials,’ ‘Bridgerton,’ ‘Hellboy,’ ‘Broadchurch,’ and ‘Being John Malkovich.’
Situated in the South of Bristol, Somerset County also served as a filming location for ‘Matriarch.’ The movie was shot in Sutton Mallet village, which resides on Sedgemoor on Somerset Levels. The place is known for its eponymous church, which possesses a rich history since medieval times. Besides this, the village is pretty secluded, which lent itself to the abandoned vibe of several scenes in the film.
Read More: Is Matriarch a True Story?