Directed by: Abdelhamid Bouchnak
Tunisia, 2018, 113m
Creepy, bloody and extreme, Dachra is a visceral, thinking-man’s folk horror flick. The title refers to a place and a cult of goats, silent women, mystery meat, and a jovial, menacing cult leader. Enter at your own risk, á la The Blair Witch Project (FFF 1999), as three squabbling journalism students are drawn into a cold case of a woman involved in witchcraft and now a mental patient. Yasmine, the female student, seems strangely drawn to Mongia, the supposed witch, and numerous unexplained nightmares and events pull us into the weirdness of the cult. “Inspired by true events,” announces the film, and the sense of dread and impending evil looms large and gets worse, with eating and cooking scenes becoming more unsavory as the film proceeds. What separates the sheep from the goats is the film’s final twist, which is killer. Dachra is not for the faint of heart, but this chilling and atmospheric mystery, the first Tunisian horror film to ever make an international splash, is definitely for a cult audience.