Luzifer (2021) Review
|Synopsis: A man with the mental faculties of a child must save his mother, thereby becoming god and devil.|
Before watching Luzifer, there are two things to be aware of. Firstly, that it is much more drama than horror, focusing as it does on two people who’ve lived alone too long. And secondly, that this movie 100% earns its WTF rating.
Johannes (Franz Rogowski) and his mother (Susanne Jensen) live alone in the mountains, eking out a quiet existence where his mother won’t be tempted by the sins of the world and where she can keep her mentally challenged son safe. Their simple life – I can’t call it good – is threatened when the family begins receiving calls asking to buy their land. When the family refuses, the prospective buyers get nasty.
What I found especially engaging is that the tone of the movie put me in mind of eco-horror more than anything else. We don’t see the prospective buyers until quite a ways into the film. Instead, Johannes and his mother are menaced by drones and helicopters and systematically robbed of all their connections to modern life. The whole thing feels like capital E evil – massive, implacable, uncaring. It’s very effective and very chilling.
That being said… this movie is a mixed bag, and definitely won’t be for everyone. It forgoes the easy story route, but what it offers up instead won’t be satisfying for a lot of audiences.
Pros: Luzifer is gorgeous. We get lots of sweeping shots of the mountains, and despite the overall darkness of the cinematography, there is some excellent use of color and angles. Repeating imagery helps hang together our understanding of Johannes’ world. There is also great ambiance throughout, often supported by very eerie music and nature sounds.
Cons: Guys, pretty much everything that happens in this movie is fucked up. If you have unresolved family baggage or religious issues, definitely think about sitting this one out. Unless you’re really into depressing studies in human character in all its messy variations, you can probably give this one a pass.
Calamity Brains’ Rating: B-