Monday, July 9, 2012

Lo (2009) - Review

There are some movies that make you want to take up the craft.  Lo is one of those movies.  Not because it's great (although it is), but because it's such a simple concept executed so well.  The budget for this thing must have been miniscule; literally the only costly thing about shooting would have been the fairly well-done demon costumes.  Everything else is right out of a modestly budgeted college play.

The beauty of Lo comes from its simplicity.  The vast majority of the movie consists of two people (or one person and one demon) talking in a black room.  The acting is hardly great, but the actors fit well with the off-kilter tone, which eventually tries a little bit of everything, to mixed success.  For instance, the dramatic scenes are done very well, as is the comedic dialogue, but the broad physical comedy falls a little flat for the most part.

The big exception to this is a great musical number early on into the film.  It's not particularly well-done, but the simple inclusion of it is enough to elicit some head-scratching laughter.  It's a film that takes its time to win you over.  As the scenes go on, you get a better feel for the protagonist and the titular demon, as well as their viewpoints.  They mostly talk about love and the differences between man and demon; it's nothing mind-blowing, but the dialogue is well-written and is quite a bit deeper than you might except from the goofy tone of a lot of the movie.

The movie is short, yet it shows a lot of influence from other works, ensuring that it never gets boring.  There's some Jim Carrey-esque comedy, some Evil Dead 2 silliness, and some truly tragic love story stuff going on.  The real reason to watch this, however, is because of the stunningly poignant ending.  Throughout all the zany moments, the movie still makes you feel like you've been punched in the stomach at the end.  It's a testament to great writing, and how you can still make a fantastic movie on a shoestring budget.

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