Lustless comes to us from Golden Century Entertainment and Yousuf Majid, an independent filmmaker, and is a horror short film. The film follows a male character who has set up an appointment with a female escort. Lustless, with its short runtime, creates a sense of intrigue and peculiarity within its portrayal, and did leave me wanting more.
We start seemingly innocuous enough at a bus stop with a grooving chap and his music when our mysterious female protagonist arrives for her ride. While waiting, our female lead (Naomi Fenton) brandishes what looks to be a medical knife. Our once groovy bystander (Ibrahim Majid) sees this, and is now fraught with fear. He errs on the side of caution and runs away into the darkness of the night. In the next scene, our ominous Cyprian arrives at the client’s (Yousuf Majid) home.
While playing some mood-setting music and making some final cosmetic touch-ups, the fearless lady pulls her knife, this time with the intention of using it. The two slowly walk towards each, when suddenly the escort tries to deliver a fatal blow. Yet, in a twist of fate, the client dodges the attempted blow, only for the escort to fall on the knife and meet her end. In a state of panic, the client leaves the room to clean the blood from his hands, but upon returning, he notices the woman has vanished. This is where the unfathomable manifests itself. He notices her sitting in the corner, head down and frigid, asking for assistance before she moves in possessed Linda Blair fashion.
Our male protagonist moves to another room, only to meet a triplicity of our lethal lady! In the final scene, with a multitude of poltergeist activity happening simultaneously, our client is paralyzed in the crucifix position. We then see our vixen stick her hand in her mouth, which is mimicked by the client as well.
Lustless leaves me with intrigue and curious in regards to our immortal female lead: what is her history, origin. . . her plight? Is she an avenger for past escorts, reversing the role of toxic masculinity? Has she been scorned—a ‘Scarlet Letter’ type scenario. The film is very effective at inspiring awe and explaining how we arrived at this point. I’d also be curious to know the meaning of the encounter between our escort and the bystander at the bus stop (a warning?).
From the creator of Lustless
Below I have put the creator’s use of special effects verbatim. I feel that this way would do it the best justice, and be very helpful to any young horror creators just getting started.
“The film was shot using a Canon C70 camera, I found this camera really good at handling low light conditions and especially good at recording slow-motion footage for a scene in the film. I used the standard ARRI lighting kit to capture well-exposed clips on set and did most of the color grading and lighting effects in post-production. I only recorded the dialogue of the talent on set and did not record any other sound, once the filming was complete, I recorded foley and designed the sound from scratch. The horror effect at the end was ambitious for this project, and I utilized After Effects to accomplish it and other smaller VFX shots. “The entire film was shot in one day with only two crew members.”Yousuf Majid
The soundtrack was fitting, I believe. Specifically, the music played when the escorts arrived at the client’s house. The score helped set the tone of the scene.
Lustless does what any creator would want it to do: make you appreciate what it is but also want more. Lustless is an ambitious endeavor, and is effective in its very short runtime. The film creates curiosity, wonder, and thought. I would definitely recommend the movie to anyone, but especially to film students and film technology students, as well as any young film aspirant!
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Review submitted by: Micheal