IMDb Rating: 6.4/10
TV-14 | 1h 33min | Drama, Horror | 30 Oct 2020 (Argentina) | Movie
Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 100% Certified Fresh (Critic reviews) | 81% Fresh (Audience reviews)
Director: Remi Weekes
Writer: Felicity Evans, Toby Venables, Remi Weekes
Stars: Sope Dirisu, Wunmi Mosaku, Malaika Wakoli-Abigaba
IMDb summary: A refugee couple makes a harrowing escape from war-torn South Sudan, but then they struggle to adjust to their new life in an English town that has an evil lurking beneath the surface.
WE ARE NOT SPOILER FREE
This is how you do horror, everyone. This film is a great example of horror and ghost stories that work. Not only does it have the right amount of jump scares (and they’re quite jumpy!), but the story has depth and the characters are believable. It’s a story you want to know more about and characters you want to invest time in.
The two principle characters are Bol and Rial Majur who have escaped a horrible fate in Southern Sudan to travel to the United Kingdom where they can start a new life. Unfortunately, their old life doesn’t seem to want to let go of them as much as they want to remove themselves from their past.
At first, we thought the flat they moved into was haunted, which it is, but not in the way you’d expect. Bol’s wife seems to know exactly what’s going on in the house, contrary to what her husband believes. He’s fully invested in moving on and getting on with their new lives in London but his wife doesn’t seem to think i is or should be that easy given the past they have escaped from.
Their lives in the Sudan were mired by tragic events which followed them all the way through their journey with the loss of their daughter. These two people have been through hell and back and while they seem to have made it through to the other side, it seems part of their tragic circumstances just doesn’t want to let go.
As they struggle to come to terms with what is happening in the house, Bol decides to face this entity head-on to finally put the events of their past behind them. With the love and support of his wife, Bol is finally ready to break free from the shackles of the past and embrace who he is and respect the journey he has endured.
The acting talent is off the chart amazing – and I mean really great. You cannot help but feel for these characters. Even though they have been through a terrible experience, they are tested even further when they arrive at their new home. You kind of want these characters to cut a break! I mean they’ve been through enough already right? But it’s through that strength that they manage to cope and probably wouldn’t have been able to if it hadn’t been for the struggles of their past which is really kind of poetically sad and hopeful at the same time.
The grimy, left-for-dead environment of the estate they move into in London is the perfect background for their struggles in a new country. Not only do they have to fight the unseen entities in their house, but they must adjust to life in a city where refugees are a dime-a-dozen, and just one more statistic to add to the ever-growing refugee population.
This is a horror film to remember and has everything you need in a well-rounded story – characters that are fleshed out enough to understand and empathise with and a unique ghost-story worthy of your time.
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Freelance entertainment writer and reviewer. Visit my blog on https://thebrokenquill.com.