Dark Star Pictures describes director Talal Selhami’s Achoura as It meets The Babadook. The new trailer for the horror thriller introduces us to an ancient monster that hunts children, but as the children grow older, they forget the monster exists. Watch them reunnite to conquer the now-remembered boogieman of their youth.
Following raves at Cinepocalypse, Brussels Fantastic Film Festival, Bucheon Fantastic Film Festival and more, North America gets to now witness the terrifying tale of a Moroccan legend. Four friends reconnect when one of them, who disappeared 25 years ago, suddenly comes back into their lives. Together, they will have to confront the terrifying events of their youth and fight a monstrous creature born of a horrible legend.
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Of Achoura, Franco–Moroccan filmmaker Selhami says, “It is sociologically proven that fantasy and horror cinema has always enjoyed a renewed interest from audiences and critics in times of social and economic turmoil. Fear cinema is therefore a kind of outlet for the viewer, unfortunately today too used to seeing atrocities through the media. Stories of ghosts, vampires, creatures hidden under the bed, allow us to transpose our fears into something unreal. The best way to play to scare yourself without taking risks.”
“The times we are living in are going through a terrible period, between economic crisis, terrorism, disease, natural disasters and the Arab world is unfortunately not spared. Far from it. That is why I think that the Arab world also has today, and more than ever, its own fantastic stories to tell. Fantasy cinema makes it possible to bypass taboos, to expose facts, to stimulate the unconscious layers of the spectator, it is therefore, for authors, a wonderful tool for expression. When done well, this cinema uses allegories and metaphors to express its words. Its spread is wide, because fear is a universal feeling. The Arab world has its advantage to offer because of its current effervescence, but also because the culture is still rich in counts, myths and legends, for the moment, not quite exploited.”
“Thus, Achoura tells the story of a Djinn, who during a religious festival, very specific to the country (the celebration of childhood), seizes the youngest in order to devour them. In a way, it is a way of evoking the troubled future of future generations of adults. Because we may not give enough importance to childhood, too concerned about our adult problems. In Achoura children try to survive, thus preserving their innocence. In this sense, the creature of Ashura is none other than the allegory of adulthood that devours childhood and thus generates troubled beings. Childhood and the loss of innocence are subjects that haunt almost all of my projects. Achoura is therefore a way for me to exorcise this fear.”
Talal Selhami’s previous film, Mirages, was well received at film fests. The fantasy horror film concerns five people with contrasting profiles who must compete for a position within Matsuika, a multinational corporation recently set up in Morocco. Following an interview with the C.E.O., they are advised to undertake a mysterious test in a secret location. It will determine who will hold the position.
Younes Bouab, Sofia Manousha, Moussa Maaskri, and Omar Lotfi star in Achoura, available on Digital and DVD December 14.
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