"Lo" DVD, Movie Review

3/01/2010 Posted by Admin

DVD, Movie Review


By our guest blogger, Jeremy Wilkinson

The 2008 release “Lo” has been labeled a horror movie by some on the Internet. While that might be the easy genre choice for convenience sake, this independent film really is a dark comedy with a romantic backbone. It's the latest film by Travis Betz, who's film “joshua” was released a few years back by Fangoria. If Fangoria gave its stamp of approval to Betz once, “Lo” can't be all bad.

Justin (Ward Roberts) is an average guy who meets an odd girl named April (Sarah Lassez). The two quickly fall in love. But one night, a demon crawls out of Hell and brings April back with him. Justin finds a demonic summoning book among her things and uses the incantations contained therein to summon the demon Lo (Jeremiah Birkett). He demands Lo find April for him. As Justin tries to keep his control over Lo, the demon waits just outside the circle of magic symbols that protects Justin from being devoured. Will Justin's love overcome the demon's evil?

One of the most surprising things about this movie is the fact that it is dialogue driven. Since Justin must sit inside the circle for protection, there really isn't much action. Instead, the two converse with one another. There also are some flashback scenes, which are done in an interesting way that won't be revealed here. The dialogue itself is fairly well done, certainly better than most low-budget films.

The dialogue is aided by the fine actors in the production. There are hiccups in the performances, but, considering the subject matter, the actors are all believable. As the sarcastic Lo, Birkett is especially entertaining. At times, Ward Roberts' acting is not up to par. At least twice, he does not deliver the emotion needed for a scene and it brings one out of the film. Thankfully, the humorous nature of the film mitigates most of the previously mentioned hiccups.

“Lo” makes the most of what is most likely a very low budget. The make-up effects of the demons are all excellent. It often feels as if a well done play ported to the screen. If “Lo” were an actual play, this reviewer would certainly buy a ticket.

Aside from Roberts' acting mistakes, the biggest problem with this film is, well, the film itself. It's too much of a 'niche' film. The sets are sparse, the humor is dark, and the movie is mostly dialogue. Were this to be pitched to a Hollywood producer, it probably would be passed along. “Lo” feels as if it's destined to be a cult film. That certainly doesn't make it a bad film, but it won't get as much recognition as some of the other indie films.

If you don't mind your romance and humor sprinkled with demons, “Lo” is certainly worth a watch.

Grade: B

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