LUZ (2018) Reviews and overview

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Luz is a 2018 German supernatural horror feature film written and directed by Tilman Singer. The movie stars Luana Velis, Jan Bluthardt, Julia Riedler and Johannes Benecke.

Shot on Kodak 16mm, Luz also features a synth score composed by Simon Waskow.


Following its world premiere at the 68th Berlin Film Festival, Screen Media released Luz theatrically in New York and Los Angeles on July 19, 2019.


A rainy night. A dazed and numb young cab driver, Luz, drags herself into the brightly lit entrance of a rundown police station.

Across town in a nightspot, Nora seductively engages police psychiatrist Doctor Rossini in a conversation. Nora is possessed by a demonic entity, longing for the woman it loves – Luz. She tells the doctor about her old schoolmate Luz’s rebellious past at a Chilean school for girls. Increasingly intoxicated by her story, Rossini turns into an easy prey in Nora’s hands, but he’s soon called away to the police station to examine Luz.

Supervised by his colleagues, the doctor puts Luz in a state of hypnosis that initiates a series of flashbacks, unfolding the events leading to her arrival. But the entity that has taken control of the doctor wants something more…


“Director Tilman Singer uses creatively applied sound effects, surrealistic cutting, and plenty of blood to give the chamber drama a supernatural edge […] overall Luz is exactly the sort of film these festivals are made for: unapologetically strange and utterly fearless.” A.V. Club

Luz is a film that demands repeat viewings […] feels a bit like doing a complex jigsaw puzzle without the benefit of an overall picture. It’s not an easy watch and the disconcerting disruption of the narrative – at times recalling Peter Strickland’s Berberian Sound Studio – is both confusing and enthralling.” Bloody Flicks

“Don’t stress yourself with practical concerns like why or even who. Luz doesn’t. Linear plot beats aren’t the movie’s connective tissue. Nonlinear artfulness is. Thus, details aren’t important for getting Luz where it wants to go, which is straight into a maddening spiral of interpretive eeriness.” Culture Crypt

“There’s clearly a talent buried somewhere within Tilman Singer, and maybe one day Luz will be looked at with fondness as the rudimentary building blocks of a great filmmaker. He just needs to learn to balance his pretensions with a more resonant core.” Daily Grindhouse

“Singer deserves a lot of credit, because he proves you can be ambitious in the horror genre and still get your scares. It keeps company with a select group of films informed by poststructuralism but still all kinds of frightening, like Tombville, Impossible Horror, and that’s about all. Very highly recommended adventurous viewers…” J.B. Spins

“We’re never sure what to believe as we sort through the levels and lies, the perceptions and misdirects. Luz unfolds in a nightmare logic and pace, deliberate and methodical, never moving as expected. It feels unmoored, adrift in a singular world of Singer’s own creation, like an illusionists trick, both experimental and gripping.” The Last Thing I See

“The settings are bizarrely empty, the actors are blocked as if they were art installations, and every visual component feels like an intentional ingredient. You trust Singer almost immediately that he knows what he’s doing, and you follow his massive vision through its many bizarre segments to the very end.”

“Beautiful to look at but frustrating to try to follow Luz will appeal to those who are into non-structured and nonlinear films. For others, it’s a matter of how much effort they’re willing to put into it. And how much the film’s look makes up for the plot.” Voices from the Balcony

Cast and characters:

  • Johannes Benecke … Olarte
  • Jan Bluthardt … Doctor Rossini
  • Lilli Lorenz … Margarita
  • Julia Riedler … Nora Vanderkurt
  • Nadja Stübiger … Bertillon
  • Luana Velis … Luz Carrara

Filming locations:

Cologne, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany

Technical details:

70 minutes

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