TADFF18: Luz

This review was originally published as part of my coverage of Fantasia 2018

A taxi driver is pursued by a demon in Luz. One night, Luz Carrara (Luana Velis) stumbles into a police station, in fear of a demon that is pursuing her. Elsewhere, the mysterious Nora (Julia Riedler) seduces Dr. Rossini (Jan Bluthardt) and talks about her history with Luz. Later, Dr. Rossini comes to the police station to help commissioner Bertillon (Nadja Stübiger) break down Luz’s story. However, it soon becomes apparent that the demon has come looking for its prey.

From German director Tilman Singer comes this new and somewhat unique take on the demonic possession narrative. Shot on grainy 16mm, giving the film a real 1970s aesthetic, Luz is a relatively isolated story, taking place primarily at a run-down police station. Through Nora’s story to Dr. Rossini, we learn of Luz’ past at a Chilean school for girls, where she performed a dark ritual on her roommate Margarita (Lilli Lorenz). Things come to head during a reenactment at the police station, where the demon surfaces to take the woman it loves.

I have to argue that Luz somewhat peaked for me during the films opening moments, which shows Luz slowly walking into the police station, accompanied by a haunting synthesizer score. The rest of the film just sort of plays out for me, with very little in terms of actual scares, though the film isn’t afraid to have possessed characters repeatedly recite a blasphemous version of the Lord’s Prayer. While I do think Luz takes a somewhat unique approach with its storytelling, it ultimately did not leave too much of an impression on me.

Screenings

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Sean Kelly Author

Sean Patrick Kelly is a self-described über-geek, who has been an avid film lover for all his life. He graduated from York University in 2010 with an honours B.A. in Cinema and Media Studies and he likes to believe he knows what he’s talking about when he writes about film (despite occasionally going on pointless rants).