Director – Travis Betz
Cast – Ward Roberts, Jeremiah Birkett, Sarah Lassez, Devin Barry, Evin Gaffey, Sarah Larissa Deckert
Release Year – 2009
Reviewed by John of the Dead
This is one I have had on my Netflix queue for quite some time. I read on it and liked the idea behind the plot, and decided to finally give this one a go. Although this flick is genuinely one of the more creative horror efforts I have seen in recent time, I could not find myself as interested in what was going on as I wanted to be. The subject matter was there, but breaking into song was a bad idea. Yes, “breaking into song”. Read on.
“Lo” stars Ward Roberts as Justin, a lonely romantic who lost the love of his life when she was taken to Hell by a demon. She left behind a book(I’m guessing it is the Necronomicon, although its title is never mentioned) made of human skin and flesh which contains demon incantations. Justin summons a demon named “Lo” and commands the demon to bring his love back from eternal torment. Lo is obligated to abide by Justin’s wishes, but has many surprises in store for the young romantic who has no idea what he has gotten himself into.
I can say that there were some elements to this film that I did not see coming. The comedic element is one, and although for the most part it was fun I feel that it detrimented from the overall experience. Lo was fun to watch as he playfully messed with Justin, but subsequent scenes of comedy were just ill-fated as far as what they did for this flick. I mentioned earlier that this film broke into song. Well, I meant that, and it was a big negative. It honestly reminded me of a latter “Family Guy” episode where Conrad Twitty comes on screen and sings for about three minutes. It was gut-wrenchingly awful and had me thinking they were obviously out of ideas and needed to take up runtime. That is exactly how I feel about the song portion of this film.
Direction-wise writer/director Travis Betz did a fantastic job with his visuals and live-action effects. Each scene shined with bright and vivid coloring in such a darkly lit room, which appealed much to me and was fun to see. I also love that he settled for live action costumes and effects for the demons. They looked great, especially Lo. We do not get much in the realm of gore with this film, and quite honestly I found that to be OK given the storyline is not one that calls for much gore. Personally, would I have loved to see this love-story/demon flick turn gory? Heck yeah! But, that is not the case with this one.
Story-wise I really enjoyed the overall plot of this flick, especially the fact that it included demons in the love story. We see love stories every now and then in the horror realm such as “Let The Right One In”, “Bram Stoker’s Dracula”, and “Cemetery Man”, but how often do we see one that involves demons? Never, so this was a fresh idea. This film stays simple throughout its runtime most likely due to its low-budget, so I am glad that Travis Betz made the most out of what he could do. The pacing can get a big dull at times, especially during some of the needless scenes like the song scene(I can’t stop with that, hah). As far as characters go Lo was written pretty well, but I never could find myself caring for Justin. We see his pain, which I enjoyed, but did I FEEL his pain? No, I did not. One element of the film that I found very unique was the flashback scenes. They were told as if a play was being acted out in front of Justin, which is a bit odd, but definitely respectable as far as creativity goes. I can honestly say I have never seen anything like that ever before in the horror genre, so it gets props from my end.
Overall, this was an OK watch that is sure to please those looking for something new, and extremely displease those who are not prepared to watch this flick. We get an interesting story with many cool elements but in the end it falls a bit short of awesome status. Give this a watch if you are curious and know what you are getting into.