The children are disappearing again.

The Arab world has some truly terrifying tales to tell.  Look no further than director Talal Selhami’s thought-provoking Achoura for proof of this truth  as four friends are brought back together when one of them reappears after being missing for a quarter of a century in order to take down a terrifying creature known as a Djinn.

"this allegorical tale shows just what adulthood does to children when the surrounding society forces them to grow up way too quickly"

Sound familiar?  Yes, this feels a lot like Stephen King’s IT or, to be specific, Andy Muschetti’s adaptation IT: Chapter One, as your mind will wander those dark fields in search of Pennywise and his balloons, too.  Fortunately, Achoura has a monster of its own with which to play games with.  This is regional folk horror at its bleakest as mysteries cloud childhood trauma.  

This childhood sorrow works for much of Selhami’s movie as a young child bride and a boy sneak away from the celebration known as Child’s Night.  Her life is not as she’d have it and a sweetness in their encounter is quickly made horrible by several monsters, some familiar to us.  Ultimately, what awaits them is more than a clash of cultures as a terrifying monster makes itself known. Achoura

Dark and brooding with some fantastic cinematography throughout, Achoura presents itself as an allegorical tale like few others, eager to take on the subject of childhood with a sweeping expression which reminds us that the past is never . . . in the past, especially when a disturbing mystery connects all the key players and brings them all into the light as suspects in the case of children having gone missing.

The truth; however, is far more disturbing.

Starring Younes Bouab, Sofia Manousha, Moussa Maaskri, and Omar Lotfi, this allegorical tale shows just what adulthood does to children when the surrounding society forces them to grow up way too quickly.  Haunting and meditative, Achoura delivers a spellbinding tale of childhood gone when a Moroccan legend starts stealing children during a religious festival designed to celebrate childhood.

The tormented fatalism captured in IT meets The Babadook in director Talal Selhami’s Achoura, premiering on DVD and Digital this December from Dark Star Pictures.

4/5 stars


Film Details


MPAA Rating: Unrated.
90 mins
: Talal Selhami
Jawad Lahlou
Sofiia Manousha; Younes Bouab; Omar Lotfi
: Horror
Here comes the booheyman.
Memorable Movie Quote:
Theatrical Distributor:
Dark Star Pictures
Official Site:
Release Date:
December 14, 2021
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date:

Synopsis: 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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