Thursday 29 March 2018

Aaron’s Spoiler-Free review of "Under The Shadow"

Here we have ourselves a foreign language British film (yes, you read that correctly) that has been on my radar for some time now. I remember a couple of years back seeing screenshots of the set on Facebook and even came close to grabbing myself a pre-release review copy of the film, which unfortunately didn't come to anything due to release dates being pushed back and whatnot but that’s not really important.

It had, however, piqued my curiosity to new-found heights, so finally managing to see this highly acclaimed, BAFTA winning feature debut from Babak Anvari was somewhat of an erection-booster (insert visual imagery here).

Under the Shadow follows the tale of Shideh (Narges Rishidi) and her daughter Dorsa (Avin Manshadi) living in their flat in 1980’s war torn Iran, with not only the fear and anxiety brought on by bomb scares, but also a lingering presence that haunts her daughter, known as the Djinn.

Now, I know what some of you might be thinking: take away the historical and cultural aspect and all you’ve got is a cut and dry ghost story, and in some respects you would be right, but this film cannot (and will not be able to, I’d wager) manage without that extra narrative, which really does tie in perfectly with the paranormal element that this film boasts; and boast it should.

What I admired most about this film (besides its stunning performances from our spectacular leading ladies) was how it managed to create something extraordinary with very little, and by very little I mean next to nothing. It is this minimalist style of direction that really makes the mould for me, and separates the “men from the boys”, to borrow a phrase.

We have films that go CGI and jump-scare mad and end up serving us a great big pile of dog shit, yet a scene of a woman standing alone in a room with a curtain moving in the background in a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it move seems to come up trumps on the spooky dooky o’ meter.

Aaron's Spoiler-Free Rating: Yes, this film as a ghost story doesn’t really give us anything we haven’t seen before, as such, but still manages to shed a light of originality in a dark room where modern ghost stories go to whither and die a thousand deaths. – 7/10

Aaron James Waters is a best-selling Pulp Fiction writer who has written more books than he's actually read.

He's also the rotten apple of the group who thinks this whole Star Wars thing needs to hurry up and die already.

You can find Aaron's debut novel on Amazon!

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