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‘Kandisha’ review: Gory horror doesn’t waste time

BAM

Kandisha is a French horror movie that has its solutions come quicker than similar fare in America. The film is about three friends who summon Aisha Kandisha. When the males closest to them start dying, the three realize they must stop the vengeful spirit. Things move at a breakneck pace after Kandisha makes her first appearance. Kandisha does not let up the bloodshed and a death seems to occur in every other segment. This tempo has various effects.

For starters, it is hard to feel for any of the characters aside from the three leads. With the exception of the opening in which two of the main characters are absent, there is little time spent with the supporting cast. They are given threadbare characterizations even by horror’s paltry standards. They are supposed to the loved ones ones of the friends, yet they are little more than “friend” or “brother”.

Things happen with little explanation. Many times, it seems like Kandisha is just winging it. (The movie, not the monster. The titular creature is actually pretty savvy.) There is no reason for Amelie and her friends to do certain things, yet that does not stop them from killing rabbits and risking people’s lives. The lack of structure and meaning leads to little tension.

Kandisha makes up for these faults with some of the goriest kills in recent memory. Almost as if trying to paper over the plot holes (there is a major miscalculation regarding the death count, for example), the grisly murders are made the highlight of the film. From goat hooves being strategically used to bodies graphically being torn in half, the camera shies away from nothing.

This is a movie strictly for horror fans. The plot falls into the “be careful what you wish for, it may be a demon” subgenre. Things move along a little too smoothly and the lack of developed characters is borderline laughable., Still, a healthy helping of carnage makes Kandisha worth checking out. 

Kandisha comes to Shudder July 22

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