FFF 2019 – Review: DACHRA Is A Historic Foreign Horror Film

FIRST IMPRESSION

Dachra has some flaws, but being that it is the first ever Tunisian horror film, it can be forgiven of some of them because it's pretty dang creepy.
Writing
Directing
Acting
Technical Merit

Dachra is a new Tunisian film written and directed by Abdelhamid Bouchnak. It actually makes history as the first ever horror movie from Tunisia, taking inspiration from low-budget chillers such as The Blair Witch Project. The film follows a group of three journalism students who travel into the woods in search of a remote hidden village tied to a mysterious cult. It has played at festivals including the 2018 Fantastic Fest and the 2019 Florida Film Festival.

At its core, the movie does sound a lot like The Blair Witch Project, one of the most successful horror movies of all time. However, the director’s fresh perspective manages to shine through and create a film that not only stands out from its inspiration, but even improve upon some of its mistakes. This movie has a similar level of novelty and ultimately a more intriguing mystery, and as such, is a better version of the story.

The pacing is what may end up being off-putting for some. The first hour and the half are extremely slow. It is one of the slowest of slow burns. That being said, the tension is constantly mounting to a payoff that is one of the best payoffs in a horror film in a while. It is obvious that Bouchnak is still working out the kinks of building suspense, but for the first horror movie ever to come out of his country, it’s pretty dang impressive.

One of the most interesting parts of the film is its world-building. The movie does a very good job of creating the mythology behind this cult in a way that is interesting and makes you want to see more of the world. It would be interesting to see a spin-off focusing more on the activities of the cult. Additionally, the movie does a very good job of planting hints early in the film that are called back to later in a satisfying way.

dachra fog

The character development in the movie is also very strong. The protagonist, Yassmine, is very strong and compelling, being a significant driving factor in the narrative. Because she is so likable, it is easy to get behind the story and get absorbed into the world. Her relationship with her two sidekicks also goes a long way in making her more interesting.

The actors all do a very good job in their roles too. Yassmine Dimassi gives a very good and emotional lead performance, bringing a lot of visual emotion to the role. It is easy to appreciate her performance despite the language barrier we face as American audiences. The actors that portray the members of the cult are also very good, but they don’t seem to be credited anywhere online. The child actress that plays the creepy little girl is particularly strong.

On a technical level, the film is mostly impressive. The overall look of the movie is very interesting, with cold shades of blues and greys dominating the color scheme. For the most part, the cinematography is very strong. It could have done without some of the spinning (that gimmick is a bit on the nose and hasn’t been used this heavily for years), but otherwise, the camerawork does a solid job of building suspense. The music also complements the tone well.

Overall, Dachra was a very impressive film. Since this is Bouchnak’s debut and the first ever horror movie from Tunisia, it will be interesting to see what he follows up with, as it seems like he will only get stronger from here.

Dachra played at the 2019 Florida Film Festival.

TRENDING THIS WEEK

A Teacher | Ground Rules ft. Kate Mara and Nick Robinson – Ep. 4 Highlight | FX

Eric didn't make the rules he has to play by. Stream the first four episodes of A Teacher now, exclusively on FX on Hulu. Subscribe now for more A Teacher clips: http://bit.ly/SubscribeFX “A Teacher” explores the complexities and consequences of a predatory relationship between a young teacher and her student. Beautiful and quietly enigmatic, Claire…

World’s Funniest Animals | Season 1 Episode 10 | Hidden Talents Scene | The CW

Stream new episodes of World's Funniest Animals Saturdays free only on The CW: https://go.cwtv.com/streamWFAyt SUBSCRIBE: http://go.cwtv.com/YTSubscribe About The CW: Official YouTube Channel for The CW Network featuring the hit series Riverdale, as well as Black Lightning, The Flash, Arrow, Supergirl, DC’s Legends of Tomorrow, Supernatural, The 100, Dynasty, In the Dark, and Roswell, New Mexico.…

Coroner | Season 2 Episode 8 | Fire Pt. 2 Promo | The CW

Stream new episodes of Coroner Thursdays free only on The CW: https://go.cwtv.com/CORgenyt SUBSCRIBE: http://go.cwtv.com/YTSubscribe About The CW: Official YouTube Channel for The CW Network featuring the hit series Riverdale, as well as All American, Batwoman, Black Lightning, The Flash, DC’s Stargirl, Supergirl, DC’s Legends of Tomorrow, Supernatural, Nancy Drew, Charmed, Dynasty, In the Dark, Legacies,…

Batwoman | Powerful Teaser | The CW

Batwoman premieres Sunday, January 17. Stream next day free only on The CW!: https://go.cwtv.com/BATgenyt SUBSCRIBE: http://go.cwtv.com/YTSubscribe About BATWOMAN: Javicia Leslie soars through the shadowed streets of Gotham as Batwoman. But don’t call her a hero yet. In a city desperate for a savior, she must first overcome her own demons before embracing the call to…

His Dark Materials Season 2: Exploring Cittàgazze (Set Tour) | HBO

Production designer Joel Collins takes you through the set of Cittàgazze to point out hidden details and explains the challenges of building an entire town. #HBO #HisDarkMaterials Subscribe to HBO on YouTube: https://goo.gl/wtFYd7 His Dark Materials stars Dafne Keen, James McAvoy, Ruth Wilson and Lin-Manuel Miranda. Adapting Philip Pullman’s award-winning trilogy of the same name,…

Frank Tells Beth He Is Gay | Uncle Frank

In 1973, teenaged Beth Bledsoe (Sophia Lillis) leaves her rural Southern hometown to study at New York University where her beloved Uncle Frank (Paul Bettany) is a revered literature professor. She soon discovers that Frank is gay, and living with his longtime partner Walid "Wally" Nadeem (Peter Macdissi) -- an arrangement that he has kept…

Transhood TRANSlation Summit | Day 3 – Uplifting Trans Communities of Color | HBO

We’ll focus on the issues facing transgender communities of color and spotlight organizations working to make change while offering viewers multiple inroads to become involved. Complementing the premiere of HBO original TRANSHOOD, the TRANSlation Summit is a three-day panel series launching November 17-19 that serves to broaden and continue the conversation around the transgender experience,…
Avatar
Sean Boelman
Sean is a film student, aspiring filmmaker, and life-long cinephile. For as long as he can remember, he has always loved film, but he credits the film Pan's Labyrinth as having started his love of film as art. Sean enjoys watching many types of films, although some personal favorite genres include dramatic comedies, romantic comedies, heist films, and art horror.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here