LUZ: THE FLOWER OF EVIL is one of the most beautifully photographed horror films that I have ever seen. Nicolás Caballero Arenas’ cinematography fills every frame like painting, the colors, the lighting evoking a fine painter’s detail for story. Within the confines of the frame is a barely restrained lunacy of the story that will turn and twist you with exceptional performances and a script that showcases the power and perils of myth and religion.
LUZ: THE FLOWER OF EVIL is writer and director Juan Diego Escobar Alzate’s first feature and it’s one of the best freshman efforts that I have seen in a long time. You become immersed in the small, remote community in the Columbian Andes, isolated and clinging to learned behavior. And it is the questioning of that learned behavior that begins to unravel the order and structure of the same community.
Far into these mountains is a preacher named El Señor (Conrado Osorio). Widowed and parenting three beautiful, adult daughters, Uma (Yuri Vargas), Laila (Andrea Esquivel), and Zion (Sharon Guzman), his rule is one of faith and tradition. He imposes some alarmingly eccentric philosophies of God onto his daughters. Only the fear of his powerful physical and emotional presence keeps the entire family from exploding. But change is on the horizon and soon, his daughters question their mandated beliefs including love, sin, pleasure freedom, and even God himself.
With that, the story slowly builds through a skillful combination of artistry that continues to escalate. I could delve into the mysteries that unravel within, but that would rob you of the power of LUZ: THE FLOWER OF EVIL. We already are programmed to know too much through film marketing and other spoilers. Instead, I implore you to experience the film with as little preconceived knowledge as possible. It is surprising, shocking, unsettling and beautifully powerful and demands an audience.
LUZ: THE FLOWER OF EVIL is now available on Digital and Video On Demand via Dark Sky Films.