We’ve all seen the creepy little girl subgenre of horror moviemaking, from Ju-On: The Grudge to The Ring, it is a consistent ploy in which to rumble up some easier cringes from less-weathered fans who may be harboring darker thoughts on the nature of their offspring. And while it does manage to maintain a constant pulse throughout every new batch of horror shorts and features we seem to get every year, it is becoming increasingly difficult to stand out in any particular way when employing the common tropes – this is where we get Luna.
In the wake of a tragedy, a nameless brother (Harlan Cox) is being stalked by the ghostly form of the little girl Luna (Zoe Williams). Throughout the day, he is plagued by her constant leering and repeated chasing after him, all the while his woes are never taken seriously by his mother (Twanissa Cox) or father (Kirk McKenzie). Their confrontation comes to a head later that night in unexpected ways.
“…stalked by the ghostly form of the little girl Luna.”
While I can respect the intended approach by which the writer, director, and editor Ross Williams handled the story, the execution is an outright mess. Beyond a wonky sound design and the film’s creep factor based solely on the utilization of music stingers rather than the actual action within the story, the film impresses less as an exercise in the uncanny valley and more a silted experience through routine tropes executed half-heartedly. Immersion was impossible for me, even with the twists and turns the film takes – it baits, it switches, yet you ultimately don’t feel much over any of it.
While it does subvert expectations at a few key areas, the overall experience with Luna was sort of a hollow one, even when taking the humble roots by which the film was obviously produced. As I see moments shine through, the film smothers that light with mannerist acting, and a repetitive story structure that almost refuses to build any palpable tension or progression beyond the same set of jump scares and samey music stingers.
"…it baits, it switches, yet you ultimately don’t feel much over any of it."