Love Is the Monster: Madeline Zima, Leonardo Nam find horror at a couples retreat

Madeline Zima and Leonardo Nam star in the thriller Love Is the Monster, based on a Finnish legend and currently filming in Canada

The thriller Love Is the Monster has received a SAG-AFTRA Interim Agreement, so production is now underway in Canada with Madeline Zima of Californication and Twin Peaks: The Return and Leonardo Nam of Westworld and Werewolf by Night in the lead roles.

Directed by Alex Noyer (Sound of Violence), who also wrote the screenplay with Hannu Aukia and Blair Bathory, Love Is the Monster follows a couple, Ana (Zima) and Justin (Nam) who, rocked by infidelity, attend an exclusive couples retreat in Finland, under the golden rays of the summer’s midnight sun. They join other couples from other parts of the world to experience the transformative teachings of the shaman and healer, Tiina, inspired by the ancient Finnish goddess of love and fertility, Lempo. But the idyllic setting soon takes a turn…

Deadline reports that Zima and Nam are joined in the cast by Moe Jeudy-Lamour (Ted Lasso), Kimberly-Sue Murray (Trader), Kristina Tonteri-Young (Warrior Nun), Milla Puolakanaho (Omerta), Tatu Sinisalo (Sisu), and Sheila Mccarthy (Women Talking).

Noyer is producing Love Is the Monster with Laurence Gendron and Hannu Aukia. XYZ Films is handling North American rights and will be presenting the project to potential buyers at the Toronto International Film Festival next month.

The story of the film is said to be based on Finnish legend, and apparently Lempo, who is indeed the Finnish goddess of love and fertility, was given a bad reputation once Christianity came to Finland. The goddess’s Wikipedia page notes that Lempo is “portrayed in the folklore usually as an erratic spirit, as love can be capricious, even dangerous, and it could even take control of a being and turn them to destruction.” The IAU Minor Planet Center adds that “Lempo is the ancient Finnish devil who, with the help of two demon cohorts, Hiisi and Paha, brought down the hero Väinämöinen.”

Chances are that Ana and Justin are going to be dealing with the more dangerous side of Lempo in Love Is a Monster, rather than the love and fertility side.

Does Love Is a Monster sound interesting to you? Are you familiar with the stories of Lempo? Let us know by leaving a comment below.

Leonardo Nam Westworld

Source: Deadline

About the Author

Cody is a news editor and film critic, focused on the horror arm of, and writes scripts for videos that are released through the JoBlo Originals and JoBlo Horror Originals YouTube channels. In his spare time, he's a globe-trotting digital nomad, runs a personal blog called Life Between Frames, and writes novels and screenplays.