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Luz: The Flower of Evil Movie Review

Written by Joel Harley

Released by Fractured Visions

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Written and directed by Juan Diego Alzate
2019, 104 minutes, Rated 18 (UK)
Released on 6th September 2021

Starring:
Yuri Vargas as Uma
Conrado Osorio as El Señor
Sharon Guzman as Zion
Andrea Esquivel as Laila

Review:

A small commune of cultists living in the woods find their lives disrupted when their leader brings home a new recruit. Following the death of his wife, El Señor (Conrado Osorio) returns to the village with child in tow – a child he claims is The Messiah, named ‘Jesus’ and everything. But is the chained-up little boy really The Second Coming, or is El Señor just a very naughty boy?

He’s certainly not a very nice one, if his treatment of Laila, Uma and Zion is anything to go by, manipulating and gaslighting the three women into submission. As El Señor’s religious fervour reaches a peak, the entire farmstead is infected, spiralling beyond even the magnetic cult leader’s control. Can the women extricate themselves from their father’s influence before his religious mania manifests into something apocalyptic for them all?

luz the flower of evil 01 luz the flower of evil 02

This folksy folk horror film takes place off the same beaten track as The Witch and The Village, borrowing a scene-stealing goat from one and a surprisingly modern setting from the other. Like that other recent cult horror film – The Other Lamb – it’s a deep, dark slow-burn, set against a gorgeous, isolated rural landscape. So beautiful is the film’s cinematography (by Nicolás Caballero Arenas) that its incredible mountains and turquoise skies almost don’t even look real – if you saw it on Instagram, you’d assume it had been filtered within an inch of reality.

And yet, within this incredible beauty, The Flower of Evil finds a disconcerting vein of misery and sorrow; a dark statement on religion and the human condition. This isn’t light viewing material, then, and nor should we expect a film styled after the work of Alejandro Jodorowsky to be as much.

luz the flower of evil 03 luz the flower of evil 04

Yuri Vargas, Sharon Guzman and Andrea Esquivel are Uma, Zion and Laila, each delivering a distinct, deeply sympathetic performance in the time that they’re given. They’re overshadowed by Osorio as El Señor - who is given the bulk of the screentime and the movie’s attention – but make for a compelling trio. One would have liked them to get a bit more agency in their own coming-of-age story, but when the villain is as good as Osorio is, we should be glad that Flower of Evil makes the most of him.

luz the flower of evil 05 luz the flower of evil 06

This slow, portentous piece is not for the faint of heart. Those who decried The Witch and Midsommar as “boring” and “not really horror” will find little to like here, aside from some pretty pictures. To the rest of us, Luz: Flower of Evil will be one of the most original genre releases this year. Undoubtedly, it’s the most beautiful. At the same time, it’s distinctly ugly as only humans can be; ruining a perfectly good Garden of Eden with all of those other things that come with people.

Grades:

Movie: 4 Star Rating Cover
Buy Amazon Uk

About The Author
Joel Harley
Staff Reviewer - UK
Haribo fiend, Nicolas Cage scholar and frequently functioning alcoholic. These are just some of the words which can be used to describe Joel Harley. The rest, he uses to write film criticism for Horror DNA and a variety of websites and magazines. Sometimes he manages to do so without swearing.
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