Let’s go to Egypt again.
I did not know Warda was another Egyptian horror film but I’m glad to expand our horizons once again. This time, we follow a young couple as they film a documentary in a Paranormal Activity clone.
I’ve reviewed a bunch of PA clones here, and I feel like each new one is a little less enjoyable than the last. This really is just PA with an Egyptian set dressing, which is unfortunate because adding in more Egyptian culture and heritage would have helped make this movie feel a little different. Aside from the setting and a couple moments mentioning Islam, this film could be dropped anywhere in the world. The setting has absolutely no meaning.
Perhaps the biggest flaw of the film is that it simply isn’t scary. The genuine creep of other PA clones is simply absent here. However, we do get some intrigue. Walid, our documentarian, purchases a gun early in the movie and seems to be dealing with some shady stuff. After his father died, it seems his uncle has pressured him into selling the family land, and he thinks his uncle (and others) are trying to scare his family away. We hear gunshots in the night and even find a shot rabbit on their property (I don’t know if there is a deeper symbol here).
Unfortunately, the intrigue vanishes once it is clear that sister Warda is in fact possessed and the odd occurrences are more supernatural. We never get a great explanation for the gunshots though. The interesting aspects of the narrative end up being a red herring, and I felt a little cheated by this trick. Adding in more of a family dynamic, or even a second stress to the family, should have been carried through.
The lack of real intrigue combined with the absence of even jump scares transforms the film into a slog. Despite the 80-minute running time the film drags.
While I did not like it, I think fans of found-footage would give this one a middling review. It hits most of the right notes and provides a serviceable experience. The camerawork seemed blurry to me, and the sound mixing needed polish. While I do think some would enjoy this, I can’t suggest it broadly because there are too many films that do the same thing much better.
Warda isn’t a total failure. That is about the nicest thing I can about the film. There’s simply superior versions of the same thing widely available.
I’d say skip it unless you’re a fanatic for found-footage.