Lo was a movie that attracted me with its cover. The promise of artful gloom tempted me beyond restraint, and I had to see it. So, see it I did (it’s on Netflix, where it can also be gotten by you!), praying that it would be worth the risk of checking out an unknown-to-me and likely low-as-fuck-budget film. Gotta admit, it’s a pretty badass cover. This movie prevails in the face of adversity, stunningly so. You hear stories about movies with such a virile creative engine that they can overcome severe budget restraints, but they’re not exactly easy to find. Lo was one of those movies. Our story begins with our hero, Justin (played by Ward Roberts), poring over an old book that looks suspiciously like the Necronomicon ex Mortis and sitting in the middle of a magical circle that he’s made himself. The page is open to a dogeared entry, showcasing The Demon Lo, played by Jeremiah Birkett. Justin carries out the ritual, slashing his hand for the blood required and summoning the entity… which promptly arrives in a flash of darkness. Already, I have a lot I need to talk about. Firstly, this film is almost claustrophobically shot – while it is revealed later on that Justin is simply sitting in the middle of his living room, the room is completely black while we watch the movie. Only the perpetually-sitting Justin and the perpetually-laying Lo are illuminated, seemingly by the candles, the whiteness of the magic circle, and possibly some other soft light source. The entire film seems to take place within a void, and goddamn it’s beautifully done, leading to an unshakable sense of aloneness. A sense that Justin’s spell didn’t bring Lo to him… it brought him to Lo. Lieutenant Dan. You ain’t got legs. It was at this point (the appearance of Lo itself) that my attitude towards this movie went from “I dunno, this looks sort of shitty…” to “Fuck yes, I’m in!” and naturally, that is due mostly to the performance and the makeup of Lo. Covered entirely in makeup and a full mask, Lo’s eerie, spider-like tufts of hair are offset by his pallid, bloody-mouthed, Gollum-like appearance. His mouth looks more like a gash or open, bloody hole than an actual mouth – but I assume it’s functional, since he immediately nicknames Justin “Dinner” and proceeds to address him as such exclusively, something that I am also going to do because c’mon, that shit’s funny. Lo is creepy, grimy, dark, at times hilarious, at times tragic, at times powerful. Exactly the driving force that this movie needed to get off of its feet without ever leaving a laying-down position. Protected by the circle he’s created around himself, Dinner tells the demon why it’s been summoned – a girl, the love of his life, April. Having been kidnapped by demons a short time ago, Dinner used the mysterious book she left behind to try to get her back. Lo finds this to be both silly and pointless, claiming he knows nothing about the girl and couldn’t scour the entirety of Hell for her if he tried. Not without a smoke break or two, anyway. He is, of course, lying. Rather than help Dinner find his lost love, Lo decides to explore exactly why he wants her back. He does this by delving into Dinner’s memories and displaying them against the darkness in the form of stage plays, an interesting way to bring these small scenes to life – these scenes aren’t necessary movie-quality, nor are they supposed to be. It’s quite clever and actually rather amusing in the way that it’s done… then back to dismal when the camera moves back to the glaringly-lit void in which Dinner questions the demon that he’s summoned. These little plays show a bit about how Dinner met April (Sarah Lassez), but without the fog of his nostalgia or the rush of their first meeting, it becomes increasingly clear that April was never entirely honest with him… and that she’s a complete fucking fruit-loop. Unlike Lo, who is… well, he’s a bit of a fruit-loop too. Conflicted about what he wants now, Dinner is then confronted by another demon summoned by Lo – the “hero of Hell,” Jeez (Devin Barry). Jeez is a great deal more amiable than Lo, lacking his realistic make-up and gravelly voice, and is actually pretty helpful despite being all sorts of evil. Flat-out telling Dinner that April was, and still is, a demon, he begins to tell a few more stories (told through song and shadow-puppetry) about the girl Dinner so adores. Over his time on-screen, Jeez drops a few hints to the nature of the ending’s twist, hints of surprising quality – when the twist did eventually come, I was both shocked by it, and able to retroactively connect the dots that had been laid out during the course of the film. Something a lot of other movies can’t manage. Just because he’s amiable doesn’t make him pretty. Now I’ve already mentioned that this movie has a twist, and as such, I’m going to stop summarizing things right now and instead, encourage you to go watch this movie. It’s smart, creative, and beautifully shot, with clever, quirky dialogue; an endeavor that can manage to be funny, eerie, and even heart-wrenching. So strap yourself in and prepare yourself for giggling demons, graphic descriptions of Hell, and as many narrative twists and turns as can be fit into a film that never leaves a single room. Lo was a gorgeous horror film that definitely deserves a signal boost, so go watch the hell out of it. Oh, and while you’re at it, keep your eye open for winks at Evil Dead 2… ’cause they’re in there. See larger image Lo New From: 0 Out of Stock Share this:TweetShare on TumblrLike this:Like Loading... Related Punk Faye Sounds too good for me to feel pretentious about if I washed it. That makes me sad. I like being pretentious with crap movies. I guess I could just watch and enjoy it for its obvious merits… George This looks great – or at least, the movie playing in my head as I read the review is great. Thanks for the heads-up. Punk Faye Saw it. Loved it. Hey guys, are you sick of CG bullshit? Watch this for a much needed practical effects fix.