A Demonic and Hellish Valentine – Lo

Not all of us are Valentine’s Day devotees. Some of us find joy in yelling “Happy VD” on February 14 or wearing an old school Sid and Nancy “Love Kills” shirt (or maybe that was just me in high school).  Whether you are sad to be unattached, just don’t dig commercial greeting card created holidays, or just want a few movie suggestions, I’m here for you, friends.

For months I’ve passed over a curious little title in Netflix: 2009’s  Lo. The rating was surprisingly high for a low budget horror movie I’d never heard of, so I finally threw caution to the wind; after all, it’s not like I’m a movie snob or anything. What’s one or two more wasted hours in my life thrown to the cinematic winds? And doesn’t the movie poster just look intriguing?
Lo gets right to it in a scene that probably replicates what my own attempt at summoning a demon would look like. An imperfect sketch, candles falling over, and forgetting a key component are the pitfalls our lead Justin experiences as he performs the ritual from an old magic book.
The demon Lo appears, christens Justin by the name “Dinner” and gets right to the smack talking and verbally toying with Justin. See, Justin has lost his lady love, April, and thinks Lo can help return her from the demon that stole her and maimed him. Lo summons up Justin’s memories and plays them before him like a sitcom recorded in front of a live studio audience. As the memories roll and tales from Hell’s denizens are told,  Justin may find his memories are far different than what really may have occurred. Is April really a damsel in distress? Is her name really April?
This is an odd little film starring people I’ve never heard of and written and directed by Travis Betz. Reportedly shot in three days and inspired by  Jan Švankmajer‘s Faust, while not necessarily “gory horror” as it was labeled, some of the costumes and tales from hell are a little yucky. The movie mostly takes place in Justin’s apartment as he sits inside his safety conjuring circle and tries to figure out the mystery of who or what April is and how to get her back.  There is such heart to this silly, odd little film.

There are times where it seems they go a little Sam Raimi wanna-be, but imitation is flattery in this case.  And while this is not horror, it is a little too horror to be straight comedy.  There are also musical numbers. Sometimes I wonder if that is why “indie” exists, a category for films that defy simple description.

Stay tuned next time for more suggestions!


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