Luz (2018) Poster

(II) (2018)

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Stylish, but No Heart
ericritter-017652 January 2020
The visual look of Luz is out of this world and has a vibe all its own. If you just happened upon this film on cable one night, you could easily think someone like Dario Argento had a hand in producing this at some point in the mid or late 80's. It has a gritty, 16mm aesthetic that's hypnotizing and makes the film hard to shake once its over. I only wish I could say the same about the threadbare story that does anything but linger with the viewer.

Acting is strong across the board with everyone giving convincingly wild and bizarre performances and there are some great images that will stick with you, but Luz could have used a few more drafts of the script before it went into production. Also, at barely 70 minutes, there are moments of the film that seem endless. It's pretty lightweight in terms of story, but it's a great exercise in style and mood.
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Entertaining disjointed mess.
garethcrook6 November 2019
Not the easiest film to find, I'd wanted to watch this for a while after the trailer did what all good trailers should do. I'm hooked to start, with a opening shot that's held uncomfortably long, ambitious considering the overall thrifty run time. It's stark with a retro grade and worn VHS look. The minimal aesthetic really appeals, but there's something missing, there's very little warmth or investment in the characters, with a palatable dirt on screen that permeates everything. For all the tension being ramped, the grime, the editing, the hyper scripted dialogue, it all slowly pulls apart. Despite it's stunted plot of a devilish nature and generally undesirable characters, there are some pluses. The score being one, reminiscent of an 80s slasher flick, it's definitely the films strongest asset. The European art house feel makes it feel cinematic, intentionally confusing in nature. Scenes built around slow creeping shots, almost entirely on one set, with often inactive people, waiting. Director Tillman Singer clearly has a thing for Lynch. As things progress it does manage to find its feet, with a second act reminiscent of a small theatre play, time frames overlapping, lines twisting through their own narrative into others, it's wonderfully bonkers, albeit a tad overplayed. It's all precursor to a truly off the wall finale, that although ambitious, really just doesn't work and ends in a bit of a disjointed mess. It really doesn't live up to its trailer, but I'm still pleased I gave it a go.
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Near Perfect Film for the Right Audience
seriouscritic-425692 April 2020
I see how this film could be a near perfect little film, or a complete bore, depending on the viewer, so to qualify my comments let me make two observations right up front: this is a film about the supernatural - not the ghostly or the horrifying or the bloody, but the mystery and menace of something that is beyond the natural as we know it. That moment when you realize you might be part of something you never thought was "real" as opposed to being chased by monsters (although there is some blood, and some violence to be fair). And if you are not a viewer who is attuned to the sense of disquiet, or who can find suspense in seeing something not quite right and wondering why or where it may lead, then this movie will not resonate. Do not bother. You'll get impatient or be bored. But if you find yourself intrigued and captivated when, say, someone's behavior in a bar seems weirdly unnatural, then drop everything and gives this film a chance! It is like the best of the early David Lynch before he become a terrible parody of himself; when he could imbue a doorway or a radiator with menace by the intensity of his gaze and the music and sound that accompanies it. In this film, more often then not, it is in the eyes of the characters and how long they stare before they speak. If you are attuned to such nuance this movie will creep you out from the very first shot.

A comment by another reviewer perfectly sums up the difference between potential viewers: they said that one scene was a man "pointlessly" setting up chairs; however if you are the kind of viewer who would immediately notice he is arranging the chairs like a taxi cab for some sort of re-enactment, and start wondering how any role-playing is going to tie in and where will it lead, then this is definitely your kind of movie.

I loved every minute of it and I was greatly impressed by the increasingly clever manner in which a simple set-up was being developed. I don't want to spoil any surprises by even hinting at what I mean by that statement; for the right audience the best way to experience this film is in complete ignorance of where it is going and how its going to get there. I had heard only that it was frightening, but it is more of the disturbing uneasy variety as opposed to the jump-scare traditional fashion and I, for one, found it legitimately suspenseful throughout (and that even includes the lengthy single take set-up at the very beginning). Excellent performances, assured direction, effective use of limited locations - this film has everything going for it in addition to a familiar concept developed in a completely original and stimulating fashion.

For the right audience, that is.
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Intriguing. Great visuals. But...
stephenherman19 July 2019
An impressive little artsy film. Some really haunting imagery. I personally just needed a little more story. I mean, it's there. There is a narrative thread in there, but I personally would have enjoyed a more flushed out story. Nevertheless, it's a intriguing watch. Definitely some things in here I've never seen before. Enjoyed it.
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Very Low Budget
westsideschl22 February 2020
Suppose to be horror, but the only horror was a few seconds of mouth to mouth exchange of gastric gases (well, suppose to be human essence I suppose, but if you think about it - it makes no sense). The remainder of the movie was a cute attempt at being artsy w/lots of editing & flashbacks of just talking heads both imaginary & real. Even the hypnosis was corny.
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Surreal and mesmerizing
JasonMcFiggins6 October 2019
Luz doesn't play out like a linear story, it instead relies on a dream-like structure, meaning it doesn't have much structure to speak of. This approach works to strengthen the film as Luz tells a frightening tale of possession and of the shifting psyche of the woman at its center. The film creates scenes out of moments and lingers on them like a dream would, as if they have no beginning and no end. They exist in an unknown space, and the visual exploration of this space is what makes Luz so mesmerizing and successful. Jan Bluthardt is utterly menacing as Dr. Rossini. He reminded me of Buffalo Bill in Silence of the Lambs, just a dangerous and wild presence. Him taking a pen out of a purse was a dread inducing moment, that's the powerfully evil screen presence this guy has. Luana Velis as Luz is excellent as the troubled woman stalked by an evil spirit. She appears exhausted, tormented, and indignant all at once. The film often has a foggy, lost appearance and feel to it, a nice aesthetic that mirrors the mindset of a woman being forcefully inhabited by an outside entity. At a brisk 70 minutes, watch this one straight through with no interruptions. You just might lose sense of being awake or asleep and find yourself in the space between, the transfixing realm where Luz takes place.
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Look for something else
strangleu-632-7024910 March 2020
One word describes this movie. "Bleh". No suspense, no horror, not even a real plot. You start the movie confused, you end the movie confused. Kind of a mystery...... A mystery of why was this filmed at all. I gave it two stars because of the impressive atmosphere and filming. Straight out of the 80s.
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Could you please stop making fake reviews!?
caelum-natura5 January 2020
I don't know who and why does this, but 5.5 is a rating this movie should never get.became an unreliable source because of fake reviews and it is a huge problem. I remember how we could rely on rating and enjoyed the movie, but last few years idiots make reviews and we get good ratings for crap movies. Millennials ruin everything, and they managed to ruing as well.

Watching water boil is more intense than this movie!
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Uninspired and boring
fisstaschek19 October 2019
As the comment title says : all the themes touched by this movie were done better before. Pacing is slow just for the sake of it, you never get invested in the characters and whoever tagged this as "horror" was severely misguided. Calling it "artsy" is also an overstatement- "Luz" is just stingy with its props. All in all - a waste of time
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kosmasp20 March 2019
So when a movie is nominated and wins awards and also has quite a nice review score, does that mean that if you (and/or I in this case) think otherwise, would that mean that you/I would be in the wrong? I would argue that is not the case. The thing is whatever you feel while watching a movie is yours and you should own it.

Own it as the makers of this own their (bad) trip, which is actually quite stationary. It is also trying to impress by throwing a lot of things into the mix. It does try to visualize certain things and yes there are analogies. The question is at what rate does the viewer care and how much will the lack of acting (or rather the talent thereof) play a role when it comes to the viewing pleasure? As stated above and as of this monent, the movie has a rating well over 6 (out of 10), which is quite high. Will it change once this comes out in cinemas tomorrow? Maybe, especially because it won't just stay with festival audiences and more importantly it will be seen by more people who'll understand and can detect .. let's call them flaws in the script and dialog. Friends actually were talking about pseudo intellectualism, but then again the joke is on them (and me), since this is an awarded film after all (no matter if it was at places were german dialog might not have been understood)
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A quick jolt of striking imagery and confusing themes
Stay_away_from_the_Metropol14 December 2019
If you require a cohesive story to enjoy a movie, just skip this. It's fully abstract, surreal, and non-linear, through and through. I still don't know what happened but I'm glad I watched it once. The movie is only 70 minutes long, so really it's no longer than a long episode of series programming. It goes by very quickly thanks mostly to very striking and atmospheric visuals, downright bizarre dialogue, AND some effectively creepy performances from nearly the entire cast, ESPECIALLY red-headed Julia Riedler who really stole the show, managing to give her intriguing character some serious complexity with not much to even work with, story wise. The music and photography were also both fantastic! Really, the main flaw is simply that... I have no idea what any of it is supposed to mean, in any manner, whatsoever. LOL. But, hey, it sure beats this years other surreal horror option, IN FABRIC. :)
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Wild, Fast-Paced, Possession Film
david_rudy_lee4 August 2019
This was a film that I remember hearing about when it was making its festival rounds. I was pretty excited, because I heard a lot of good things about it. My local theater had been showing trailers for a year now it feels like. I finally got the chance to see it there as well. The synopsis is Luz (Luana Velis), a young cabdriver, drags herself into the brightly lit entrance of a run-down police station. A demonic entity follows her; determine to finally be close to the woman it loves.

As the synopsis states, Luz enters into a police station. She is walking a bit funny and she goes to a vending machine. She purchases a drink and then starts to yell at the person working the front desk.

We shift to a bar where Dr. Rossini (Jan Bluthardt) is having a drink alone. A woman, Nora Vanderkurt (Julia Riedler), calls out to him and they have a drink together. She starts to tell him a story about Luz, as the two of them went to school together. It is a dark tale of how Luz thought a classmate was pregnant and tried to see if she was a medium. It involves a preserve version of the Lord's Prayer. The two of them go into the bathroom together.

Luz is taken to a room with Olarte (Johannes Benecke) and Bertillon (Nadja Stübiger). Dr. Rossini is called in as well. He hypnotizes Luz and they try to figure out what happened to her that night. It leads on quite the dark turn of events as they also explore the event that happened all those years ago.

Now I wanted to be a little bit vague in my recap here, as the film really only runs 70 minutes. I will say though, they take full advantage of that time for sure. From the moment that Luz walks into the police station, I could feel my anxiety going up. I will get into that in a little bit though.

What I really like about this film though is how it is put together. We have Luz who we don't know if mentally she is all there. From her reciting of her version of the Lord's Prayer, yelling at the front desk worker and the event that she was a part in, she definitely sounds trouble. On top of that, Nora states she jumped out of her taxi while it was moving. We see the effects of this all over Luz's face.

The events of the hypnosis are great. Dr. Rossini puts her under in a matter of seconds and what I love about this sequence; we actually get to hear the noises that would be happening to recap the night. We see Luz pretending to pick up Nora, but it is done in the way where we get to see a version of the events. Nora sits behind her and we see Luz moving her lips as she is retelling the conversation. I was captivated with the film's way to retelling this.

From here I'll go to the pacing and editing of the film. If you couldn't already tell, I think the pacing is amazing. It is quite a tense film and it moves along at a great clip. If anything, I would have been fine with adding a bit more to just explain things a little bit deeper. I also like how they set up everything, showing events in the police station up against the bar. We also get this later in the film when they are showing how things were mirrored back then. I thought the ending was solid for what the film is conveying.

The acting of the film is good as well. I thought Carrara's performance is interesting. She is a young woman who has to pretend that she is doing things like drive a car and act like she is picking up a fare in her taxi. I wouldn't be surprised to see that she had stage acting in her past. That actually goes for the rest of the cast as well. Benecke was good in his smaller role. He did some things that I found to be a bit comical in a realistic way. Bulthardt is really good in his performance. I like the turn that comes over his character in the grand scheme of the film. Riedler and Stübiger were also solid along with Lilli Lorenz who appears as Margarita.

As for effects in the film, there actually really isn't any that I could think of. They were done practically and it is mostly blood on characters. Dr. Rossini does do something to himself that made me cringe a bit. The only other effects come back into play with editing the scenes with what happened in the past. It was also framed in a way that was good. The cinematography of the film I enjoyed. They really did use the depth of the shot to their advantage as well as a mirror at one point.

The last thing I have to cover the soundtrack. I thought it was used amazing. It goes a bit loud and being in the theater, it worked very well. The songs selected actually made my anxiety go up, even if nothing is really happening on screen. The sound effects are another thing that is really good here. When they are pretending to be in the car and other things, we actually can hear the car starting or the radio playing. It gets us in the mindset of what she was really doing and I loved it.

Now with that said, I'm so glad that I finally got to see this film. It has an interesting story, that doesn't have a lot of moving parts, but it definitely takes up the whole running time with no filler. It isn't a long film and I could have asked for more there. The acting really helps to drive this film. No one really blew me away, but I wouldn't be surprised if they all had theater backgrounds as that is how it kind of feels. There's not a lot in the way of effects, but what we got were good. The soundtrack is used masterfully and one of my favorite aspects, between the use of sound effects and music alike. I will warn you, this is from Germany and the dialogue is pretty much solely in German or Spanish, so I had to watch it with subtitles. If that is not an issue, definitely give this a viewing. I think that is a really good film with a gritty feel.
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This is a sub par movie. dont be fooled by the fake reviews and rating
shamis-881-2578918 March 2020
  • Good atmosphere
  • A decent retro-like background score
  • Decent Direction

  • Sub Par Acting Performances
  • A confused script
  • Unnecessary long sequences of nothing happening (more like watching paint dry)
  • A very low budget, which shows

Conclusion: A lot of hollow style over substance.
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could not get through it
blueriverpebble26 March 2020
This was incredibly boring and just plain bad. The beginning was sort of interesting only in the way that there was a sense of intensity but then the long and I do not exaggerate, long pointless shots destroyed my patients. long shots of the entry room with some guy at front desk that had no point. Long shots of guy setting up chairs On and on. Felt like I spent an eternity in just 20min. of this film which was all I could take before i started to hit fast forward.
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This movie is amazing
fmbeswick24 July 2019
If you love Fulci and Argento this is the movie for you (and if you don't love them, what is wrong with you?) Beautiful, weird and wonderful. 10/10
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Give me your hand ...
begob2 December 2019
An injured girl enters a police station, while her demon lover hatches a plot to get her out.

Fascinating film, with a rich blend of the psychological and supernatural. Three main performers, each unique and intense. There's the weirdest smile in the early toilet scene - full of horror and tension - and later an even weirder rushing past of a naked body.

The story telling is shattered into bits, and I couldn't quite piece them all together, but the process was so interesting and mysterious, with perception shifting about within scenes. There's a nice shot with the rear-view mirror, where all the characters are there yet not there, and that's within a scene that uses sound and mime to flashback to the event just prior to the beginning of the story.

The simplicity of the setting somehow lets the director take us deep into the mystery. He uses the camera and practical effects to open things up without being explicit, and the sound and music are always weird and unsettling but without telling us how to feel.

Easily the most interesting film I've watched since Nocturnal Animals. You will hate it!
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