by Hope Madden
There’s a real thread of forgiveness, consequences and redemption in current horror. It fuels Romola Garai’s Amulet, Jayo Bustamante’s La Llorona, and now, Limbo, the cheeky neo noir from writer/director/producer Mark H. Young.
Jimmy (Lew Temple) looks like a pretty cut-and-dried case to Balthazar (Lucian Charles Collier). He shot a grandmother (Veronica Cartwright) in the head robbing a pawn shop, caught a bullet in the back and now he’s here, facing judgment. But why has the man upstairs deemed Jimmy worthy of his own defense angel (Scottie Thompson)?
Must be something big. Even the other guy’s getting in on the deal. Both sides are weirdly interested in the outcome of this one case.
Young (Feral) has a knack for efficient, low budget horror. His work is not inspired, but it definitely makes the most of its budget. And in this case, you also have to hand it to him for casting.
Besides the always-welcome Temple and the great-to-see Cartwright, Limbo brings in familiar faces Richard Riehel (jump! to conclusions guy from Office Space), and James Purefoy as Lucifer.
Lauryn Canny (Darlin’) delivers the strongest performance as a prostitute back in real life that may or may not prove Jimmy’s worthiness of forgiveness, but everyone’s fun. Purefoy, who relishes these campy roles, chooses a hillbilly accent for Satan. Odd.
Odder still is whatever accent Collier is attempting, but that hardly sinks the film. It’s a goofy fantasy and just about anything flies.
The circular logic isn’t as tight as Young may think it is, but again, Limbo provides serviceable fun. No scares and not a ton of laughs—indeed, where Young is hoping to land on the horror-comedy spectrum is a bit muddy—but thanks mainly to a game cast, Limbo is still a pretty good time.