Tuesday, July 20, 2021

Kandisha Review: A Demon Terrorizes A Trio of Rebellious Graffiti Artists

Directed by  Alexandre Bustillo	 Julien Maury	Writing Credits (in alphabetical order)   Alexandre Bustillo	 Julien Maury	Cast   Walid Afkir	Walid Afkir	...	Recteur Suzy Bemba	Suzy Bemba	...	Bintou Bakary Diombera	Bakary Diombera	...	Ako Sandor Funtek	Sandor Funtek	...	Erwan Félix Glaux-Delporto	Félix Glaux-Delporto	...	Antoine Dylan Krief	Dylan Krief	...	Ben Mathilde Lamusse	Mathilde Lamusse	...	Amélie Nassim Lyes	Nassim Lyes	...	Abdel (as Nassim Si Ahmed) Samarcande Saadi	Samarcande Saadi	...	Morjana Mériem Sarolie	Mériem Sarolie	...	Kandisha

Release date: July 22, 2021 Running time: 85 minutes Directed By: Julien Maury and Alexandre Bustillo Starring: Mathilde Lamusse, Samarcande Saadi and Suzy Bemba It’s summer break and best friends Amélie, Bintou and Morjana hang together with other neighborhood teens. Nightly, they have fun sharing scary stories and urban legends. But when Amélie is assaulted by her ex, she remembers the story of Kandisha, a powerful and vengeful demon. Afraid and upset, Amélie summons her. The next day, her ex is found dead. The legend is true and now Kandisha is on a killing spree— and it’s up to the three girls to break the curse.

Kandisha has a slow opening that introduces you to the legend and all the characters. But the slow opening does get more interesting when you see the three main female characters, who are all a little rebellious. They are street artists and work at night when the city is dead. The film also starts with a good hip hop soundtrack to help frame this rebellious crew. And when the deaths start happening, Kandisha also shines, with brutal fatalities and good practical effects. Bones break, brain matter splatters, and blood flows when this demon starts to take her sacrifices. And when the friends try to get rid of the demon, Kandisha also has a tense and imaginative exorcism scene. I like how the scene changed and shifted as it tried to convince the friends to stop the exorcism attempt.

But although Kandisha does a lot right, I do wish there was a little more reasoning to its murder spree. it seems to pick victims at random and this leads to an odd situation where people are dying for seemingly no reason. You do find out why later in the movie, but in the initial stages it just seems like a series of random killings. And the killings themselves are pretty quick, with less dread than I would have hoped before the person is killed. Also, the film starts with some banter that seemed to maybe be lost in translation; it didn't sound like something kids would talk about but maybe that's just my age. Additionally, the film starts with an interesting obfuscation aspect that is just abandoned as the killing ramps up. And the original conflict that summons the demon also feels manufactured and odd. It escalates very quickly, which is the motivation to summon the demon, but it seems too quick and too much. But after this all, Kandisha does have a tense ending that is made all the more impactful by the journey so far. I liked how the film ended despite some of the hiccups in the middle. And it follows this up with a good ending "stinger."

Kandisha summons some brutal kills and violence with a trio of rebellious female leads in this French hip hop exorcism horror film.

Rent it.

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Kandisha is available to stream on Shudder starting July 22, 2021. 

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