The need for symbolic storylines that take the worries of a younger generation into the heart has been met by the recent spike in the number of horror films explicitly aimed at teenagers. Kandisha, which is only available on Shudder, is the contribution that Alexandre Bustillo and Julien Maury have made to this expanding body of work.
Arguably, it is their most approachable work yet. The film takes an unflinchingly gloomy but ultimately moving look at the recurrent pain caused by imperial aggression. It rips a violent leaf out of Clive Barker's book right from the beginning as the camera soars over a decaying mixed-race neighborhood in Paris at the film's opening.
Dark and ominous filming locations characterize its architecture. The parallels between this setting and the Cabrini-Green projects in Candyman have already been identified by discerning members of the genre's audience.
Still, the filmmakers take them one step further by combining an oppressive sociopolitical reality with the vengeful spirit of a Moroccan urban legend named Asha Kandisha. The movie does not take pleasure in the bleakness of its setting and instead focuses introspectively on the lives of its protagonists and antagonists.
The script reveals some uncomfortable realities about the race and gender dynamics of an intimate circle of friends before the antagonist begins her terrifying rampage. Racist comments disguised as playful banter are frequently directed toward black adolescents.
However, despite this temporary success, the females in the organization continue to face a genuine danger from unwanted male attention. On the street, they are subject to rigorous police surveillance.
They are provided with the opportunity to relate to one another outside of the context of their male contemporaries, alleviating the anxiety associated with early adulthood through the use of graffiti, music, and cannabis.
Kandisha thrives despite its excessive reliance on supernatural horror cliches because it combines these cliches with the merciless gore aesthetics typical of a Bustillo-Maury picture.
Kandisha's rage is called out via a bloody pentagram after she suffered a severe attack at the hands of her ex-boyfriend. At first, Amélie ignored Kandisha's pleas for help. He was killed by the ritual, which then swiftly began to focus on the other men in her life.
The girls are under a lot of pressure as they try to safeguard their loved ones from the curse's effects. The fact that the justice delivered by the spirit merely rips open new wounds is a horrible twist of irony.
The fact that a historical tragedy overshadows Amélie's desperate conduct is an even more unfortunate aspect of the story. In this image from the film “Kandisha,” the Moroccan urban legend Aisha Kandisha comes to life and stands over the body of her most recent male victim inside a sweltering locker room.
Viewers aware of what to search for will have a secure feeling due to Kandisha's familiarity. The respect that Bustillo and Maury have for the genre, on the other hand, is what makes them such an engaging on-screen duo to witness.
Even a micro-managed production like Leatherface contains reminiscences of their overlooked rural horror film Among the Living. The pair's harsh manner is ideally suited to classic horror narrative in their projects, and their most recent endeavor is no exception to this rule.
The level of violence in this movie is on par with what these directors have done in the past, but it doesn't go overboard at any point. It works mainly due to the dedicated performances of its cast members, and the legend herself is brought to life suitably threateningly, with framing and lighting choices that ratchet up the tension to an appropriate level.
The ominous and surreal atmosphere of the Nightmare on Elm Street series comes to mind immediately as our main cast of characters tries to make their way through the perils surrounding them.
It's interesting to note that the three girls have the same dogged spirit as some of Wes Craven's most recognizable characters in their quest to stay alive. Each actor takes with them, with grace, the lived-in baggage that is associated with their particular identity.
Lamusse impresses in the role of the protagonist, who is destined to confront a villain that she had nothing to do with creating. However, Craven's impact may be seen most clearly when Bustillo and Maury discuss the severity of their dwell environment.
The most important aspect of the movie is how unflinchingly it evaluates the guys who cause harm and how they abuse their positions of authority. On the other hand, there are no stereotypically stereotypical antagonists in this movie.
The filmmakers are well-versed in the art of coaxing the truth out of challenging situations due to their position as pioneers within the New French Extremity. Kadisha demonstrates that the scene's effect is far from over, even though it does not apply to the same frenzied heights as a film such as Inside.
In contemporary works of popular horror, particularly those focusing on younger audiences as their primary audience, recurring motifs frequently target succeeding generations. This movie makes a strong case for itself in the middle of what seems like an infinite flood of entertainment.
An understanding of a multi-generational struggle without redress is a less formal trait that Kandisha exhibits. This is one of her qualities. An undercurrent of palpable rage is driving everything, which is complicated to dispel. People who came before me have characterized this narrative as nothing more than a recycled example of horror cinema from the past thirty or more years.
Still, I'm afraid I have to disagree with that assessment. The movie is an assured and calculated throwback with some sting. A step in the right direction for Bustillo and Maury and one that I hope doesn't go buried and forgotten.
Now that The Deep House is hot on its tail, perhaps there will be more openness in the discourse. In its current form, Kandisha's message of hope to disillusioned young people cannot be denied.