French Horror Film Kandisha Feels Like Candyman’s Little Sister

Morjana (Samarcande Saadi), Amélie (Mathilde Lamusse), and Bintou (Suzy Bemba) ponder their terrifying predicament while sitting on a couch on a rooftop.

Morjana (Samarcande Saadi), Amélie (Mathilde Lamusse), and Bintou (Suzy Bemba) ponder their shocking predicament.
Image: Shudder

It’s summer in Paris, and three besties—Morjana (Samarcande Saadi), Amélie (Mathilde Lamusse), and Bintou (Suzy Bemba)—are lazing thru the days, partying with chums, and engaged on their graffiti murals interior an empty residence constructing that’s scheduled for demolition. Life isn’t finest, nevertheless it’s not frightful, something that changes all of a sudden when the teens invite a malevolent spirit into their midst.

Namely, it’s Amélie who summons Aicha Kandisha after finding out about her from Morjana; she’s “a infamous legend in Morocco,” “a sexy lady who destroys males.” After a chronic ex-boyfriend bodily assaults her, an anguished Amélie works out her frustration by scrawling a bloody pentagram and calling out to what she thinks is truthful a determine from a folktale—something Morjana’s brother dismisses as “light-nation bullshit.” Turns out, of direction, that Aicha Kandisha is fully proper and decidedly deadly; as soon as conjured, she materializes sooner than Amélie’s tormentor and chases him into traffic. The ladies are shaken, nevertheless no topic Amélie’s nagging sense of dismay, the timing of her ex’s demise feels admire a coincidence…till others of their shared orbit—all males, in conserving with Aicha Kandisha’s modus operandi—open death infamous deaths. Slasher-film model suspense builds as you open to gaze how many males surround the three young ladies—fathers who’re every type and not-so-type, chums, brothers older and youthful, the baby son born to some of their social circle as the film progresses—and charm who’ll be picked off subsequent.

Amélie plots revenge.

Amélie plots revenge.
Image: Shudder

Creator-directors Julien Maury and Alexandre Bustillo’s most efficient-known outdated film is in all likelihood Inner—every other female-centric dread film, even though in an fully a kind of formula (it’s about a girl who becomes fixated on stealing a pregnant lady’s exiguous one). Kandisha takes particular recognizable cues from Candyman: key scenes unfold in a bustle-down residence tower, and it sides a supernatural villain with a) a tragic backstory, b) a thirst for brutal revenge, and c) the flexibility to be summoned by someone who repeats their name time and all as soon as more. Nonetheless the place aside Candyman added depth to its bloody story with issues investigating America’s racist previous and most up-to-date, Kandisha doesn’t indubitably dig into something else previous “Oh my god, our cherished ones are death and it’s all my fault.” And though its jam in all equity uncomplicated, it doesn’t fully wait on together; the final act, which desires to be its scariest crescendo, affords a great deal of gore (the film is indubitably not short on that) nevertheless in every other case proceeds exactly as you’d keep a question to.

Nonetheless, that’s not to relate you should peaceful corrupt Kandisha off your watchlist. Its atmosphere—a working-class, not in particular glamorous side of Paris that’s not on the total dropped at the forefront—is every unfamiliar and gleaming, and its characters aren’t the sort of teenagers that on the total populate dread motion footage. They feel admire proper folks residing realistically messy lives (talking shit, smoking weed, arguing with their fogeys, goofing off, making artwork) and the central friendship has a lived-in effective that makes you realize why Bintou and Morjana would willingly dangle themselves in Amélie’s spooky nightmare. (The indisputable reality that the three ladies playfully search advice from one every other as “Unlit woman,” “Arab,” and “the white one” suggests they’re successfully responsive to the cultural differences between them and aren’t by them the least bit. Why must peaceful they be?) There’s also an attention-grabbing subplot that emerges when the ladies—who’ve realized the salvage isn’t a precious resource for demon-connected problems—jam as much as be conscious down an exorcist imam who used to be banished from his mosque for practising witchcraft. His screen time is short, nevertheless as impactful as you’d desire any character answering to that exact description to be.

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Kandisha premieres July 22 on Shudder.

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