Lo is a different gem altogether: it’s not the prettiest, or the most ground breaking, but damn is it fun to watch due to its refreshing form. It tells the story of a man named Justin (Ward Roberts) that summons the demon Lo (Jeremiah Birkett) to retrieve his kidnapped girlfriend, April (Sarah Lassez), from Hell. As Justin matches wits with the demon in a bid to find his beloved, we’re treated to other demons and a steadfast refusal to give up in the face of damning evidence that April wasn’t what she seemed. It’s delightfully different. Here are five reasons to give Lo a shot this weekend.
|Yup, that’s a demon smoking.|
#1 – The movie knows how to do silence
The first few solid minutes of this film are completely silent. No music, no speaking – nothing. Director Travis Betz managed to create mood rather than boredom. Well-played, sir. Not an easy task to accomplish. Worth a view for the neat trick.
#2 – The setting technique is pretty cool
There really isn’t a ton in the way of sets. We’re used to seeing films with lots of locations that are made to look like real life. It helps us get lost in the action. Lo does not pretend that it’s going anywhere: Justin is in a circle conjuring a demon in darkness, and Betz keeps it that way. The flashbacks are accomplished through a charming use of obvious, painted stage sets, complete with comedy and tragedy masks. I have to admit, this one made me smile because it didn’t knock itself over trying to do the best flashbacks ever. It settled for imperfect, and it had a great impact.
|Budget constraints? Pffft.|
#3 – The demons are brutally honest and funny as hell
Lo is pretty fucking funny. A consummate smart ass, Lo admits to lying as part of its demon nature, and pulls out all the stops to remind Justin at every turn that, were it not for the protective circle, he would be on the menu. Lo doesn’t pull punches and isn’t afraid to make a joke, which makes the truths it tells equal parts scathing and bearable. Jeez, another demon, is more so fascinated with Justin, but equally brutal in its honesty during their conversations. The back up band doesn’t hurt either. Yes, you read that correctly.
#4 – Cheesy special effects
You know what makes me smile? Imagination that clearly does not have the budget to match its ambition. For what it’s worth, the makeup of the demons is good. Some of the effects, like Jeez’s eyeballs, aren’t as well-executed. And that’s okay. Sometimes, I need to be reminded that it’s not a contest to see who can do the most realistic decapitation. For a low-budget indie film, I’m willing to give a pass if it’s got other redeeming qualities. This one gets that pass from me.
|Surprising how far lighting will take you.|
# 5 – The parting look
This one look made the entire movie for me. You will know when you see it. If you can get my heart to break with one look, that’s worth at least a slow clap. That, my friends, is a sign that something went fantastically right. Anyone that’s been on the giving or receiving end of that look will get it. It’s been a sticking point for me.
This one is a rental, as I haven’t quite nailed down where to stream it. However, the clever folks (far more clever than yours truly) will think of something… Enjoy….