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Tuesday, July 27, 2021

Review: Kandisha

Director: Alexandre Bustillo and Julien Maury

Screenplay: Alexandre Bustillo and Julien Maury

Year: 2021

Those who have followed some of my work will know that I usually enjoy Shudder films. Usually, this service adds at least enjoyable movies, but every now and then, a bad apple sneaks in. "Kandisha" belongs to that group of films in which, after watching them, you wonder what the hell the person who decided to add it to the catalog was thinking.

A young woman invokes Kandisha, a vengeful being from Moroccan mythology, to get even with an abuser. What the young woman did not know is that Kandisha will not only take revenge on her abuser, but by invoking her, she will also take the lives of loved ones around her. Now, the young woman and her friends try to discover a way to stop this being before it continues to claim lives.

To explain the reasons why I didn’t enjoyed this film by Alexandre Bustillo and Julien Maury (“À L 'Intérieur”, “Livide”) let's start with the premise. Kandisha is a Moroccan myth that is nothing more than a variant of Bloody Mary, where the demon is invoked by repeating her name five times in front of a mirror, and her presence means the death of several people. This premise is completely worn out in the horror genre and lacks originality, which cannot be solved just by changing country and language.

If you can overcome the lack of originality, you must face another problem: the characters. A group of teenagers for whom it is impossible for us to care about them makes this story a less pleasant one. Generic personalities, frivolous motivations, and absurd reactions are just some of the problems with the characters.

What I did enjoy about this movie were the special effects. At various points during development, we witnessed some explicit deaths, but it is in the third act where there is a full display of gore and explicit special effects that is surprising and refreshing considering how arid the road is before reaching this part. Although these moments are great and help you improve your quality, they are not enough to claim you.

Only the special effects and some good gore moments save “Kandisha” from being a complete disaster. The story lacks originality and interesting characters, which led me to find myself distracted several times while watching the film because it never captured my attention. The weak script and the various holes and errors create a strong disconnect between the story that the creators want to tell and what finally reaches the viewer.

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