Movie Review: Luz (2018)

July 15, 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?

Luz Carrara (Luana Velis) comes a-stumblin’ into a German police station, and over the course of an appropriately dark and stormy night we learn that there is something horribly wrong with L-dawg…perhaps Satanically so. Enter: Commissioner Bertillon (Nadja Stübiger) and her translator Olarte (Johannes Benecke) who decide to call in police psychiatrist Doctor Rossini (Jan Bluthardt) to make an attempt at solving the mystery of just why Luz is fucked up six ways to Sunday.

Meanwhile more of Luz’s past is revealed by her former classmate Nora Vanderkurt (Julia Riedler), as she talks to none other than Rossini in a local watering hole…and that convo reveals the supernatural gift ol’ Luz is burdened with, some of which has been passed on to Nora who eventually ends up suckin’ face with the good Doc…which would be cool except for that glowing pie-hole and demonic possession bag. Will humanity survive this evil curse?

Simply put; Luz is a rock solid throwback to the golden age of Italian genre cinema, with it’s greatest influences coming from Fulci’s Eibon trilogy (which encompasses City of the Living Dead, The Beyond, and The House By the Cemetery in case ya didn’t know), and Andrzej Zulawski’s Possession (okay, that’s not Italian…but you dig what I’m sayin’), so expect Lovecraftian apocalyptic overtones, tons of style, a palpable sense of dread, and some fog enshrouded images.

Speaking of ambiance; plenty of claustrophobic mileage is gained from the use of two main locations for the film; the dungeon-like bar and the long corridors of the police station (and I see what you did there flick with that inverted cross motif formed by those double doors). These are stark, cold environs and you can imagine whatever fresh hell our evil antagonist came from was a similar confined labyrinth.

Extra credit must be placed on the film’s 1980’s setting (if the tech shown is to be believed); this is presented in a subtle, natural way…without tons of nostalgic accouterments…and seems to be present to echo the era the above mentioned fright flicks were created in (the minor artifacting and phony grain accentuates this as well without going completely over the fucking deep end like some pics do…I’m looking at you Planet Terror).

Finally the fact that Writer/Director Tilman Singer isn’t afraid to let dialog overlap, or things to not be spelled out to the letter for his audience only adds to the dizzying experience of Luz…it’s a dark fever-dream that plays out in a manner where your own thoughts and fear can form the reality of the terror tale at hand, and it’s a work of pure horror biz bliss!



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