Reviews | Written by Joel Harley 31/08/2022

LOLA [FrightFest 2022]

A high-concept time travel film that doesn’t actually travel anywhere, Andrew Legge’s Lola takes found footage back to the Second World War. After creating a kind of television set which can intercept TV and radio broadcasts from the future, two sisters use it to alter the course of World War II, for better and worse. It’s The Butterfly Effect meets Gogglebox.

In 1940s England, genius inventor Thomasina (Emma Appleton) and sister Martha (Stefanie Martin) leak war-winning intel to the military effort by listening in on the radio relays of tomorrow. Unfortunately, best intentions go awry when the ladies inadvertently change the future…. In the very worst way. What The Man in the Iron Castle couldn’t have predicted – Neil Hannon (yes, Neil Hannon, of The Divine Comedy fame) – ruling the airwaves with bootlicking fascist anthems.

Beautifully soundtracked (including Bowie, the Who, and great new tunes from Hannon) and well shot (using, in part, period accurate cameras), Lola is a clever and charming sci-fi comedy. Appleton and Martin both impress as the sisters, drawing a believable portrait of sisterly love, camaraderie and vastly different expressions of what Doing The Right Thing looks like.

Offbeat as it may be, the stakes are real, and Lola conjures a number of classic time travel dilemmas and paradoxes, ultimately tying into the found footage form itself. Offbeat and unexpected, a truly unique utilisation of medium and, uh, Neil Hannon from The Divine Comedy.