Running time:85 minutes
Director: Alexandre Bustillo, Julien Maury
Release date:22 july 2021
Three childhood friends summon the spirit of Kandisha, a vengeful creature from a Moroccan legend. A game that turns into a nightmare when their loved ones tragically start to disappear. The girls will then do everything they can to try to counter this evil creature.

Mulder's Review

The duo of directors and screenwriters Julien Maury and Alexandre Bustillo never cease to surprise us with their eclectic filmography and their way of finding new ways to approach genre cinema. After À l'intérieur (Inside) (2007), Livide (Livid) (2011), Aux yeux des vivants (Among the living) (2004), Leatherface (2017), the two directors had time to shoot Kandisha before their latest film is released in France (The Deep house (2021). By a curious chance we were able to discover the same week their last two films and thus discover two films illustrating wonderfully the horrific cinema with not only a way to pay tribute to the masters of horror of American cinema. 

While The Deep house reinvents the theme of the haunted house specific to American genre films, Kandisha takes up the theme of urban legends and will remind some of Bernard Rose's film Candyman (1992). However, far from wanting to proceed by simple mimicry and wanting to reproduce this cult film, Julien Maury and Alexandre Bustillo place in their film a vision of the current suburbs governed by its own codes.

We can never say enough about the importance of having a good script to create a real worrying climate. Julien Maury and Alexandre Bustillo once again prove to be as comfortable with their writing as with the way they put their film into images. We discover Amélie (Mathilde Lamusse), Bintou (Suzy Bemba) and Morjana (Samarcande Saadi), three inseparable teenagers, during a summer vacation. They spend their time in their town telling each other scary stories and trying to improve their lives. However, when Amélie is attacked one night in the street by her ex-boyfriend, she invokes the demonic Kandisha (Meriem Sarolie) to take revenge on him. Unfortunately, she doesn't realize that by releasing this spirit, she will endanger her entourage but also her own life. When the day after her attack, her ex-boyfriend is found dead and other violent deaths follow, the three friends decide to intervene and find a solution to stop Kandisha.

The story of this film is certainly not new but the treatment given to it makes this film totally convincing and above all shows once again that French cinema is capable of competing with American cinema in terms of audacity and efficiency. The two directors seem to be well aware that their film follows in the footsteps of other films but they bring to it, as in The Deep house, a real originality and strong images to hold our attention until the last minute. Beginning as a simple chronicle of the current suburbs, the film gradually moves towards a horrific cinema with its share of deaths as original as perfectly staged. In the same way, the two directors understood the importance of having a solid cast to reinforce the emotional side of the film. By calling on young actresses for the main roles, it is undeniable that it reinforces the emotional side of the film. 

Despite a budget that we feel reduced directors Julien Maury and Alexandre Bustillo have taken particular care of the special effects of the film including the look of Kandisha with his goat legs and an undeniable beauty. By taking the legend of Aisha Kandisha and transplanting it into our society today, directors Julien Maury and Alexandre Bustillo have certainly delivered one of their best films and we can only advise you to discover it on Shudder on July 22 if you are based in the United States or Canada or England and Ireland (this film will be available on VOD from July 29).

Written and directed by Julien Maury, Alexandre Bustillo
Produced by Guillaume Lemans, Wassim Béji 
Starring Mériem Sarolie, Mathilde La Musse, Samarcande Saadi, Suzy Bemba, Nassim Lyes, Dylan Krief
Music by Raf Keunen
Cinematography : Simon Roca
Edited by Baxter
Production companies : Esprits Frappeurs, WY Productions, SND, Scope Pictures
Distributed by Shudder (United States), M6 (France)
Release date : July 22,2021 (united States), July 29, 2021 (France)
Running time : 85 minutes

Seen on June 30, 2021 (press screener)

Mulder's Mark: