LFO All About That Bass

SFX - - Re­views -

re­leased 23 Novem­ber 2013 | 15 | dvd Direc­tor an­to­nio Tublén Cast Pa­trik Karl­son, Iz­abella Jo Tschig, Per löf­berg, ahnna rasch

Nope, not the ’90s techno act. The acro­nym stands for the same thing – low-fre­quency os­cil­la­tion – but rather than mak­ing dance mu­sic, the an­ti­hero of this low-key Swedish sci-fi uses his au­di­tory ex­per­tise to ma­nip­u­late the world around him. Driven al­most mad with lone­li­ness af­ter the death of his wife and son, Robert (Pa­trik Karl­son) de­vises a way to brain­wash peo­ple us­ing spe­cific au­dio fre­quen­cies, and is soon run­ning elab­o­rate ex­per­i­ments on his neigh­bours.

With just four key cast mem­bers and a sin­gle lo­ca­tion, LFO is a con­tained, claus­tro­pho­bic film that forces you to spend a lot of time with a truly hor­ri­ble char­ac­ter. Robert is de­tached, im­moral, and yet chill­ingly be­liev­able. The mun­dan­ity of his de­mands – sex, yes, but also clean win­dows and proper waste dis­posal – cre­ates some ab­surd hu­mour, but ev­ery laugh is fol­lowed up with a nasty gut-punch.

The end­ing de­serves both a trig­ger warn­ing (for sui­ci­dal ideation, yikes) and a stand­ing ova­tion for sheer ballsi­ness. You’d have to be care­ful who you rec­om­mended this film to, but it’s so star­tlingly orig­i­nal and cru­elly clever that when it finds its fans, they’ll re­ally love it.

Ex­tras Trail­ers. Sarah Dobbs

LFO is packed with au­dio in-jokes; for ex­am­ple, Robert’s on­line iden­tity is “Dr Moog”, af­ter the syn­the­siser in­ven­tor.

Stan­dards had slipped at The Ivy.

“Help! I’m stuck in a draughts board!”

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