Let’s get cursed.
Kandisha is a French horror film that follows three young women as they navigate their lives during summer break. We get a lot of characters and threads in this story from the get-go. Honestly, I was not certain who the main character was meant to be for about the first third of the film.
We have a story that starts us in media res, so the characters have histories and relations that inform their decisions. The people feel real, and their interactions make a sort of sense with this sort of writing. However, none of the characters are particularly likable. We primarily follow Amelie (Mathilde Lamusse) and her two friends. After Amelie’s ex-boyfriend attempts to rape her, she summons the ancient spirit of Kandisha, a Moroccan demon to kill him. Kandisha completes the task, but also targets other men the women know.
The three have to figure out a way to undo the curse while also trying to convince anyone to believe them. We do get a bit of the whole lack of trust thing between friends (after three untimely deaths) that annoys me in horror. Even if someone was skeptical, it is clear something is going on that is unusual.
Anyway, we end up with a talky horror film that takes its sweet time to get anywhere. The film is a bit boring at times, but I don’t think it is due to the writing of the characters. I think the slowness comes from the rules of the universe not being entirely clear. Why Kandisha chooses to target other men isn’t well enough explained, nor is the nature of who she targets in general.
Additionally, we end up with so many characters that it was hard for me to keep them all straight. Many of the men who are killed are only introduced in one scene before they end up meeting their end. Coupled with a short running time, it is hard to connect with anyone other than our primary three.
There is an inherent tension as our trio go through the motions of counter-ritual, seeking expertise, and daring plans to end the curse. The story is familiar despite the nice addition of a Moroccan demon.
I didn’t like this one, but I didn’t hate it, either. It’s an okay horror film that doesn’t do anything terribly wrong but doesn’t do anything particularly interesting. I think for fans of demonic horror this one might hit the right spot even if they don’t love it. The biggest issue for everyone watching will be how obviously predictable the entire story is.
I’d say stream it if revenge horror is something you like.