Achoura (2021)

If you enjoy the cultural horror twists of Mexican filmmaker Guillermo del Toro — not so much the U.S. studio tentpoles of Mimic and Hellboy, but of Pan’s Laybrinth, The Devil’s Backbone, and Cronos — you’ll enjoy this France-Morocco co-production that first appeared in the overseas theatrical marketplace in 2018.

Described by its studio as the recent reboot of Stephen King’s IT: Chapter One meets the 2014 Australian box office hit, The Babadook, Achoura, aka Children’s Night, concerns four reunited childhood friends — one that disappeared 25 years earlier — celebrating “Achoura,” a Moroccan religious celebration. As with the Stephen King tale: a creature from their past returns and forces them to confront the errs of their youth.

Is it all too reminiscent of King? Maybe. Is that a bad thing? Not in the least, as the film is effectively well-made. The truth is: if we’ve learned anything from international films: no matter how different the cultures, our ancestral folklore — and the fears of them — are all the same.

Achoura makes its domestic debut on U.S. shores on December 14 through Dark Star Pictures on all streaming platforms and DVD. We’ve also recently reviewed the studio’s newest November and December releases of Ankle Biters, Beyto, (search for both, this week) and That Cold Dead Look in Your Eyes. You can view more of the studio’s trailers on their You Tube page.

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