There is more than meets the eye goin’ on in the unconventional Iranian horror/thriller “Under the Shadow”. One whole helluva lot more.
The setting is a Tehran apartment house during the late stages of the nearly decade-long Iran-Iraq War of the 1980’s. A woman and her eight-year-old daughter are all alone in the building, and are under the constant threat of bombing from Iraqi soldiers under the maniacal regime of Saddam Hussein. However, another threat looms within these walls which they are forced to contend with. One not as menacingly manifest as ballistic missile assaults, yet every bit as terrorizing.
What is this malevolent yet largely unseen entity that is making the girl mysteriously sick and is driving her mom to the brink of insanity? I came up with a host of theories based upon what we know of this era and these characters, personal perceptions entrenched in both the physical and the metaphoric. And they were continuously being evoked and then morphing as this ominous story progressed. I won’t share them here out of respect for “non-spoiling” it for anyone. I’m sure you will come up with your own conjecturing should you choose to go “Under the Shadow”.
I have but one gripe-a quite distracting one. The version of the movie I watched had English voices dubbed over the actors who are speaking in their native tongue. I am among those who, when watching a foreign film in any language, prefers and appreciates it that way. I, like many, do not at all mind subtitles. First of all, I can read. And moreover, this allows me to fully interpret the tone and emotion being expressed in what is said. I got used to the lip movement not syncing with the words I was listening to. But I certainly didn’t embrace it.
Be that as it may, getting immersed in “Under the Shadow” is recommended for those of us who like our horror dished diabolically different.
But be forewarned…it is not a comfy place to be.
- Acting - 8/108/10
- Cinematography - 7/107/10
- Plot/Screenplay - 8/108/10
- Setting/Theme - 8/108/10