Possession movies are known for their cross-wielding, holy-water-flinging priests experiencing some kind of crisis of faith, demons, projectile vomit, and Catholicism. You can spot a film in this subgenre from a mile away thanks to movies like The Exorcist. But director Tilman Singer’s acclaimed film, Luz, tries to renew the tired possession film. And lucky for us, it’s coming to theatres in July.
Luz follows the titular Luz (Luana Velis), a cab driver who has dragged herself to a police station after an accident. As the police interrogate her, and someone from her past, they realize that Luz is being followed by a demon who is in love with her. This demon will stop at nothing to be with her.
It is quite a unique plot, especially for a movie about demons. But it wasn’t always going to be about possession. Luz was shot entirely on 16mm film as part of Singer and producer Dario Mendez Acosta’s thesis project. In an interview with Nightmare on Film Street, Singer said that Luz evolved into a possession film as he researched hypnosis and interrogation. He said, “[Hypnosis] became a very clear tool for an evil entity in the movie. It was very devilish, you know, using hypnosis for bad. To manipulate somebody.”
Editor Jonathan DeHaan was able to catch Luz at last year’s Fantasia Fest. He said of the film:
Luz is a gorgeous film with a dangerous atmosphere that you cannot escape. With a large portion of the audio presented through the headphones of our investigators, you sometimes feel that what you’re watching should be labeled “evidence”. These choices, combined with a killer synth score, give Luz a retro vibe that is feels more authentic than any of the 80’s inspired movies within arms reach.
Read his whole review here.
The film, clocking in at a tight 70 minutes, has been talked about by critics since its premiere at Fantasia Fest. Between its twist on a beloved subgenre and its 80s aesthetic, it sounds like a film for diverse horror tastes.
Luz is coming to theatres in New York and Los Angeles on July 19th. What’s your favorite possession movie? Let us know on Twitter, Instagram, Reddit, and in the Horror Fiends of Nightmare on Film Street Facebook group!