It’s time to leave the city in this trailer for UNDER THE SHADOW

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This next trailer is about a horror film that has actually been receiving quite a lot of critical buzz from film festivals. Yes, you read that sentence correctly. Horror and critical praise are seldom things we see these days, but apparently Babak Anvari‘s Under the Shadow, has it. So what is it doing differently to the others? Let’s see.

The film is set in the 1980s during the height of the Iran-Iraq war. Under the Shadow follows a mother and daughter who are left to fend for themselves in Tehran after the father is conscripted into military service. And with daily air raid sirens going off at random, political turmoil upending the social order, and religious zealots eager to find and punish anyone who steps out of line, life can be pretty scary as it is.

This sounds like an unusual, different premise for a horror film right there. However, the film starts to tread into normal horror territory when the mother starts to suspect a djinn is haunting the family (it’s those djinn’s that always mess everything up). However, this time the supernatural part in the movie doesn’t detract or force the movie to descend into typical jump scare tactics. And judging from the trailer, the film has been brilliantly executed.

I like the war setting, giving a film like this a completely different perspective. Not only do you have the supernatural element scaring you, but the real life war scenario beings even more tension to the story. And while trailers are difficult to judge a horror film by, it certainly builds enough tension on its own to show that this could be one to watch.

And I actually think the fact that it is in a foreign language and has sub-titles may make it even scarier, as you get more involved in the film. Though, I’m not sure if reading may detract the audience from witnessing other visual things in the film. It’s certainly  film I am looking out for though.

Under the Shadow arrives in US theaters and on VOD October 7.

A full synopsis of the film is below:

Shideh (Narges Rashidi) and her family live amid the chaos of the Iran-Iraq war, a period known as The War of the Cities. Accused of subversion by the post-Revolution government and blacklisted from medical college, she falls into a state of malaise. With Tehran under the constant threat of aerial bombardment, her husband (Bobby Naderi) is drafted and sent to the frontlines by the army, leaving Shideh all alone to protect their young daughter, Dorsa (Avin Manshadi). Soon after he leaves, a missile hits their apartment building and while failing to explode, a neighbor dies under mysterious circumstances and Dorsa’s behavior becomes increasingly erratic.

Shideh finds herself slowly drawn into the ensuing turmoil, struggling to cling onto what is real and what is not. Searching for answers, she learns from a superstitious neighbor that the cursed missile might have brought with it Djinn – malevolent Middle-Eastern spirits that travel on the wind. Convinced that a supernatural force within the building is attempting to possess Dorsa, Shideh has no choice but to confront these forces if she is to save her daughter and herself.

Last Updated: August 17, 2016

Craig Risi

A man of many talents, but no sense how to use them. I could be discovering the cure for aids or finding ways to achieve world peace, but I'd rather be watching movies and writing here instead.