Mind control and hypnosis are all over the cinematic landscape right now. Danny Boyle’s thriller Trance and Shane Carruth’s Upstream Color are two films currently in theaters that broach the subject head on. Now Sweden’s Antonio Tulben is getting in on the act with his dark sci-fi comedy LFO. From everything you see in this new trailer, however, the emphasis in the film appears to be more on the dark than the comedy.
Not to be confused with the terrible late ’90s boy band of the same name, LFO stands for low-frequency oscillation. In this case, it’s through a series of tones, sounds, and patterns that a man realizes he can hypnotize people. Like any budding scientist with a lack of resources at his disposal, he begins experimenting on those people unfortunate enough to be his neighbors.
The power of manipulating other people goes to his head, and as the film progresses he gets more out of control and the stakes are raised ever higher. LFO raises the usual questions of unchecked power, corruption, and the like.
The use of sound in this way also plays an integral part in Upstream Color. Both films are prime illustrations of the fact that you can pull off a cool science fiction movie even without an extravagant budget or access to lots of technological toys. If you have a strong story, and enough gumption to pull it off, you can do great things.