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Sound is a powerful tool. It can levitate objects, it can make prisoners confess their crimes (assuming it’s loud and terrible enough), and it can even heal wounds. And in Swedish filmmaker Antonio Tublén’s sophomore feature LFO, sound is used to perform mind control on people, with darkly humorous consequences. But it’s without the use of sound that we report U.S. distribution rights to LFO have been picked up by MPI Media Group imprint Dark Sky Films, who have put out genre fare such as Adam Green’s Hatchet II and Jim Mickle’s Stake Land. Feel free to read this aloud to yourself to get the maximum impact.
It isn’t very often that the words “comedic Swedish sci-fi thriller” get strung together here at GFR, so we’re soaking it up. PingPongFilms’ LFO first made waves last year at Austin’s Fantastic Fest, where it attracted the attention of Elijah Wood and his partners at the production company SpectreVision. They hosted it at their own horror-themed L.A. film festival SpectreFest last year, and have now stepped on board and taken the see-though titles of executive producers, and they’ll also be “presenting” it. I suppose SpecreVision Presents LFO would make it less likely that someone would mistake this as a biopic of the fucking terrible pop band of the same name. I wonder if there are any summer girls in this movie.
LFO, described by Wood as “a subversive, funny and deeply unnerving low-techno thriller,” centers on a man named Robert (Patrick Karlson) who figures out a way to use sounds to hypnotize people into doing his bidding. He first experiments on his neighbors Simon (Per Löfberg) and Linn (Izabella Jo Tschig), and then decides to ramp up his efforts, all while dealing with the haunting of a nagging ex-wife. This movie’s budget is fairly low, so don’t expect huge, world-destroying stakes, but look forward to a smart script that is just as witty as it is hypnotizing. And there probably aren’t any indecipherable pig farmers in this like there were in Shane Carruth’s quasi-mind-control movie Upstream Color.
MPI will screen LFO at the Cannes Film Festival this year, but there’s no word yet on when U.S. audiences will be able to see it. (You can bet it will be on VOD soon after Cannes is finished.) If you didn’t see the trailer when we showed it last year, you can watch it in all its subtitled glory below.