When it comes to genre cinema, many filmmakers have their own distinct vision and talent. It’s all about taking some creative risks and showcasing your passion on screen for the whole world to see. Another title to add to your list of genre films is the magnificent Luz: The Flower of Evil. Written and directed by Juan Diego Escobar Alzate in his feature debut, he has made a very layered discovery of important themes such as religion, patriarchy, faith and hope. With a fascinating mix of western, fantasy and folk horror elements, you’re most likely intrigued by now.
The moment I heard about this premise, I was very interested. I don’t want to give too much away, because it’s best to see it not knowing a lot of details beforehand. Taking place around a village in the Colombian Andes, a preacher named El Señor (Conrado Osorio) finds someone that will forever change the lives of everyone in his religious community, especially his three adult daughters Uma (Yuri Vargas), Laila (Andrea Esquivel), and Zion (Sharon Guzman).
When the movie starts, you immediately notice just how beautiful it looks. The cinematography is amazing, and it’s superbly shot from start to finish. Props to the director of photography Nicolás Caballero Arenas for making Luz one of the most visually stunning films ever made. It’s like an artist presenting the most vibrant color palette on screen, and it’s absolutely stunning to look at. The acting is also quite good. Everyone from the cast delivers some remarkable performances, but I feel like Conrado Osorio really stands out with his role. He’s the one I remember the most while watching the movie.
The director does a great job setting up the tone and atmosphere, which helps you get immersed in the story. He has described his feature as a lyrical and poetic dark lullaby that questions the viewer and their own morality and faith, which totally works for the type of film he wanted to make from the get-go. During the beginning, you will probably be wondering what it’s about, but then you’re interested to know more about this world as it goes on. It’s a very touching and personal story for these characters, and you do feel emotionally connected to them. The musical score also adds a lot of energy to the mystical nature of the film. However, it’s important to keep in mind that Luz is a slow burn, but it knows how to use its pacing really well. It’s a long movie for sure. However, you’re still deeply invested in the premise.
Luz: The Flower of Evil might not be for everyone, but you can’t deny that it’s a truly unique film. It’s undeniably not an easy watch, but I want to praise the entire team for creating something that we might not have seen before in our lives. I would love to see more movies like this, which is the biggest praise that I can give it. It’s incredible to see someone’s cinematic vision come to life, and it makes you look forward to seeing the director’s next feature. It’s an audacious piece of cinema that portrays the brilliant skills of bold Colombian filmmaking. Keep your eyes peeled for Luz when it’s available on Shudder on December 21.