In the 80's, during the war between the Islamic post-revolutionary Iran and Iraq, the former leftist medical student Shideh tries to return to the university but is barred by the dean. The upset Shideh returns home and when her husband Dr. Iraj is assigned to work in a war zone, she refuses to move to his parent's house with their daughter Dorsa. Shideh prefers to stay in her apartment with Dorsa, who loves her doll Kimia and has constant fever. Dorsa is afraid of demoniac Djinns and when Shideh asks who told her about the legend, she tells that her friend that lives downstairs. Shideh visits her neighbor and asks his mother to tell her son to not tell horror stories to Dorsa and she learns that the boy is mute. Then Kimia and Shideh's Jane Fonda workout tape disappear. When a missile strikes their building, the neighbors decide to leave Tehran, but Shideh stays in the apartment with Dorsa, who is increasingly disturbed. Soon Shideh reads about Djinns and finds that there is an evil ...Written by
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
A Great Drama That Develops Into An OK Horror Movie
The first thing that stood out about this film was it's unique setting for a horror flick, it take's place in 1980's Iran during War Of The Cities. Our main character Shideh (Played by Narges Rashidi) has just learned that she won't be able to attend Medical school due to her background in activism. On top of all that her husband is being drafted to fight in the war leaving Shideh in a war torn country raising her daughter alone. The whole set up/first half was excellent, the acting is believable and director does a great job of establishing a tense tone. It definitely did not feel like the usual set up to a horror movie, in fact if I hadn't known before hand that this was a Horror flick I probably would have just assumed it was a Drama depicting live in Iran during a hard time.
So as the story progresses the horror elements are introduced, Shideh's daughter starts having trouble sleeping because she is afraid of Djinn (Demons). Some paranormal things start happening around the house and eventually things do get a little creepy. This part of the movie started to drag a bit a bit on the tension died down a bit for me. There are some scares that were well done and caught me off guard, however a few were too obvious and came off a bit too cheesy. Overall the second half is good but parts of it just felt like a run of the mill ghost movie. Plus the last fifteen minutes or so kind of fell flat on me, I felt like that was suppose to be a big tense scene but I just wasn't feeling it.
I enjoyed "Under The Shadow", it has it's flaws but it does enough right to make it a worthwhile experience. If you are interested in watching a decent ghost movie that has very interesting setting then this one if worth a watch, it doesn't do anything mind blowing but it does a good enough job at being an effective horror film.
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