Feed the Light review
Feed the Light started out as an homage to H.P. Lovecraft’s The Colour Out of Space, but it quickly blossomed into something more for co-writer/director/all-around MVP Henrik Möller. The film takes Lovecraft’s ideas about cosmic entities and human worship of unknowable things and turns it in to a surreal story about a woman searching for her daughter in a mysterious underground workshop, complete with black-and-white cinematography and sepia tones to add to the atmosphere.
Sara (Lina Sunden) is searching for her daughter Jenny (Ingrid Torstensson) in this weird place where workers are forced to constantly clean dust for fear that bugs might be attracted to the detritus; as a new cleaner, she’s not well-versed in the things that go on in this lair, but she quickly experiences the strangeness of her coworkers, their obsession with light, and a dark shapeless entity that the rest of the crew worships. Feed the Light focuses on Sara as she hunts down her daughter through multiple floors, each with their own dangers.
Möller’s film is particularly fueled by the film’s surreal and often unexplained setting and the events that go on in this factory; inspired by Lovecraft, Möller and his co-writer Martin Jirhamn infuse the plot with a number of weird elements that add mystery to the relatively simple story. However, this weirdness doesn’t feel particularly necessary or metaphorical to the story – too often, Feed the Light showcases strangeness because the film affords it and not for any greater purpose. While the cosmic elements could be considered Lovecraftian, I had a difficult time finding much that truly represented Lovecraft’s writing style, and had I not been told this was influenced by The Colour Out of Space, I certainly would not have put that together.
The film’s also ploddingly paced even at its truncated 80 minute running time, with Möller’s direction often suffering from a lack of excitement; there are moments where the film emphasizes its oddities, but ultimately a lot of Feed the Light boils down to Sara making her way through various empty corridors. The film lacks the drive that would make the audience want to participate in the greater mystery happening in the plot.
Still, the cinematography will be a draw to this film, as will its weird and eerie subject matter. While there is definitely an audience for this kind of movie, Feed the Light will ostracize a lot of its viewership, and those attracted to it will most likely fall into a category of being intrigued by Möller’s cinematic choices.
For this reviewer, the style is not enough to overcome the lack of substance here, and ultimately Feed the Light tends to drag if the viewer is not immersed in its eccentric storytelling. There’s an interesting premise here for sure, but I wish that the filmmakers were able to tell this Lovecraftian homage in a way that did not pile on seemingly nonsensical symbolism throughout.
Click next for the Blu-Ray review.