Under The Shadow

During the Iran-Iraq conflict, a Tehran woman caring for her daughter while her husband is at war is gradually convinced evil spirits are at work.

Year: 2016
Certificate: 15
Director: Babak Anvari
Starring: Bobby NaderiArash MarandiHamidreza DjavdanNarges RashidiAvin ManshadiRay HaratianBijan DaneshmandBehi Djanati AtaiSoussan FarrokhniaSajjad Delafrooz

Information Page: https://www.newonnetflix.info/info/80096786

Genres: British Thrillers, Thrillers, British Films

As part our month of International Movies at New on Netflix, I didn’t really know where to start. Netflix doesn’t do a great job in pushing foreign language films, so I had to go digging.

After a quick Google, I found a list of the top foreign language films available on Netflix and after watching a few trailers, the one that looked the most interesting was ‘Under The Shadows’.

Set in the 80s and during the Iran-Iraq conflict, families are warned of air strikes targeting cities. One of this families is Shideh (Narges Rashidi), her husband Iraj (Bobby Naderi) and her daughter Dorsi, played by Avin Manshadi. When Iraj is called up to the army as a medic and sent away to be right in the middle of the war zone, he begs Shideh to take Dorsi away from the city of Tehran and go to his parents’ away from immediate danger. Shideh refuses to be driven out of her home and herself and Dorsi stay.

Inevitably, a missile strikes the building in which they live, but luckily it doesn’t explode. Instead, it simply leaves a gaping hole in the roof of the building. However, it seems that isn’t all it leaves behind…

Strange events begin to unfold and whispers of evils begin to swirl. Stories of ‘The Djinn’ are passed from child to child scaring little Dorsi who can’t sleep because her favourite doll has disappeared. Where Shideh thinks the child has simply misplaced the toy, a neighbour believes that The Djinn has taken it and they plan on taking Dorsi too.

Eventually, Shideh realises that it has become too unsafe to stay at home, but Dorsi refuses to leave without her doll, leading to her mother turning the whole house upside down. The longer they stay the danger of being attacked from the skies grows, but so does the danger that now inhabits her home. Is The Djinn after her? Are they after Dorsi. Does The Djinn even exist? If it does, how do they stop it?

When I first sat down to watch ‘Under The Shadow’ Netflix began playing the dubbed English audio track, meaning the actors were speaking their native language, but the viewer hears the dialogue in English. It may have been the actors they used or it could have just been my brain realising that the vocals didn’t match the actors I could see on screen, but it really took me out of the movie. I found the viewing experience much better, once I put the original Persian audio track on and added English subtitles. This is just a personal preference, but the voices on the English audio track just didn’t suit the actors they were portraying.

The film itself is quite well made and the acting of  Narges Rashidi and Avin Manshadi was pretty good. The writing and direction were a little low budget, but it was easy to forget that this was probably a low budget movie, so it is to be expected. The horror aspect of it was pretty creepy and really well done. One minute I’d find myself losing my focus and then something would happen and it would take me right back into the film.

If you are looking for something different and something that’s is pretty creepy, then ‘Under The Shadow’ is worth taking a look at….Just remember to get rid of that terrible audio track.

Have you seen this film? Let us know your opinions in the comments below and of course if there are any films on Netflix UK you want us to review let us know.

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