“Matriarch” is a horror film about a woman named Laura Birch who becomes infected with an unusual disease after surviving an overdose. When she returns home to recover from this incident, she finds herself faced 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 dark comedy.
Originally titled “Wormeater”, the overall narrative of “Matriarch” carries a dysphoric and dark aura, which can be attributed to the seemingly desolate settings. Dull shades of blue and gray enhance the moody effect and add to the eerie vibe. These aspects of the film pique the public’s curiosity as to where the film was shot. So let’s look at all the places ‘Matriarch’ was filmed.
Matriarch Filming Locations
“Matriarch” was filmed in a few locations in the South West region of England, known for its remoteness and tranquility, among other things. In a conversation with Starburst Magazine, writer-director Ben Steiner revealed that the production of his feature debut ran into several hurdles. He said: “My son tested positive for Covid on the evening of the first day, so I had to spend the first week of my first feature making in isolation via walkie-talkie, first from the inside my car, then from inside a sealed tent! ”
Back to WORMEATERland for a busy day of filming. Now that’s a wrap! 🎬🥵👍🏻 pic.twitter.com/Hkvp2bvKAx
— Ben Steiner Filmmaker (@BenSteiner_Film) May 28, 2022
Following this, the film’s lead actor, Jemima Rooper (Laura), also tested positive for COVID-19, which added yet another rift to the filming process. After rescheduling and multiple operational issues, the team presented their best ever game. Ultimately, filming began in November 2021 and wrapped in January 2022, with an additional one-day shoot in late May 2022. Let’s look at the specific locations where “Matriarch” was filmed.
One of the main filming locations for “Matriarch” is the city of Bristol, which is also historically a county. Situated along the River Avon, the place is a cultural center and lies between the counties of Gloucestershire and Somerset. At the time of filming, writer-director Ben Steiner had lived in the town for eight years and had found the landscape to be 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 here, which is wet and swampy and muddy and formerly mystical. So that was integrated. The film also visited The Mount Without to shoot some of its scenes. Residing on St. Michael’s Hill near the University of Bristol, the place was once a church and has a history of over 900 years. However, it has now been transformed into a creative space for gatherings and also serves as a wedding venue.
— Ben Steiner Filmmaker (@BenSteiner_Film) December 15, 2021
On top of that, the film was shot in and around Berkeley Square and closer to Brunel’s SS Great Britain. While Berkeley Square is a luxury boutique hotel in Clifton, a beautiful suburb of Bristol, the SS Great Britain is a museum ship that was once a passenger steamer. Due to their history, the aforementioned sites have a dark, ancient aesthetic that adds much-needed gloom to the narrative. Other significant shows and films filmed in Bristol include ‘His Dark Materials’, ‘Bridgerton’, ‘Hellboy’, ‘Broadchurch’ and ‘Being John Malkovich’.
Located south of Bristol, the county of Somerset also served as a filming location for “Matriarch”. The film was shot in the village of Sutton Mallet, which resides in Sedgemoor on Somerset Levels. The place is known for its eponymous church, which has a rich history since medieval times. On top of that, the village is quite isolated, which lent itself to the abandoned vibe of several scenes in the film.
Read more: Is Matriarch a true story?