The latest horror outing from BAFTA-nominated Anglo-Iranian director Babak Anvari, Under The Shadow is a dark examination of lingering wounds from the devastating Iran-Iraq war of the 1980s. Set during the war’s eighth year, the supernatural thriller sees a mother and daughter struggling to survive a brutal bombing campaign, as a supernatural evil haunts their apartment building. The film will have its world premiere at Sundance 2016, screening in the Midnight section, but to get an idea of what to expect, we’ve got an exclusive clip for you here.
The thing that really sticks out for me is how much the camera matters in conveying uncertainty and menace in every frame of this. The turmoil outside of the building and the clearly dilapidated state of the apartment in which the mother and daughter live is bad enough, but the way the camera rocks as the mother rocks her daughter, and the way it maintains the same angle when she rises from her bed, gives me, at least, considerable vertigo. Camera tricks can be cheap, but here they’re doing as much work as the actors. Honestly I can’t wait to see this thing.
From Wigwam Films, Under The Shadow stars Narges Rashidi as “Shideh”, with Avin Manshadi as Shideh’s daughter, Dorsa. It’s written and directed by Anvari, and produced by Emily Leo, Oliver Roskill, and Lucan Toh. XYZ Films is handling sales.