Pascal Grenier for

1988 Tehran. A mother (played with conviction by Narges Rashidi) and her daughter are struggling with the terrors of the post-revolution while a mysterious form of evil is haunting their home.

This Iranian-British horror film is the directorial debut by Iranian-born director Babak Anvari. The film works particularly well in his presentation of Iranian female oppression and class struggle in late 1980’s. Even if the action takes place in the midst of a near-ending decade long war between Iran and Iraq, the director  avoid any political controversy opting for genre conventions as a grim metaphor  of his country and its women.

The horror elements seem a little forced at times as the director uses a several conventional and staging  jump-scares tactics. But there is an odd mix of social drama and pure supernatural horror themes. So, despite some misses here and there it is well worth seeing.

Fantasia screening: July 28, 10:00 PM (Hall Theatre)

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