Review: “LUZ” possesses its audience.

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LUZ

Written and directed by: Tilman Singer

Produced by: Dario Mendez Acosta and Tilman Singer 

Starring: Luana Velis and Jan Bluthardt.

LUZ begins as a young female cabdriver (Luana Velis, in the title role) drags herself into a run-down police station. However, a demonic entity has followed her there, determined to finally be close to the woman it loves.

Shooting entirely on 16mm, first-time feature film director Tilman Singer pays homage to horror masters David Cronenberg, Dario Argento and Lucio Fulci, while infusing the genre with a fresh take of his own.  

Who is Luz? That’s the big mystery of a film that is stylistically a throwback to great horror and thrillers from the ’70s and ’80s. The slow burn of strangeness is introduced by a jarring androidlike performance of a character named Nora (Julia Riedler) that gives us a peek inside of Luz’ history. It is exacerbated by the slick audio editing and literally hypnotic acting of our titular leading lady, Luana Velis. Why is Luz at a police station? As her bizarre narrative takes shape, you are compelled by confusion and intrigue. Luz has elements of demonic possession and theater. You have to be a diligent viewer to keep up with the madness. Premiering at last year’s Fantasia International Film Festival, this first feature written and directed by Tilman Singer is striking. What tortures Luz? You’ll have to watch and answer for yourself.

Opening theatrically in New York (IFC Center, Alamo Drafthouse Cinema City Point, Nitehawk Cinema Williamsburg) and Los Angeles (Laemmle Monica, Laemmle Glendale) on Friday, July 19 with a national release to follow.

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