In the new, ’80s-set horror film Under the Shadow (out Oct. 7), Narges Rashidi plays Sideh, a wife and mother in – Tehran, who has to look after her young daughter (Avin Manshadi) on her own after her doctor husband (Bobby Naderi) is conscripted into the Iran army. What ensues is a nerve-shredding tale as the practical-minded Shideh starts to believe she is being tormented by a spirit known as a “djinn.”
Under the Shadow is directed by the Tehran-raised, but now London-dwelling, filmmaker Babak Anvari and has been selected as the U.K.’s Foreign Language Academy Award entry. “I was born and raised in Tehran in the early years of the revolution and during the Iran-Iraq war it was mandatory for my father to serve as a doctor for a month each year in the war,” says Anvari in his director’s statement. “The months when he was away were like hell for my mother. She recalled how truly afraid she was during those times, despite efforts to keep herself together. Nowadays she blames herself for how timorous my brother and I were, believing that she unconsciously passed her fears on to us during that time. Conversations with my mother reminded me of my childhood fears and anxieties and ultimately sparked the idea behind Under the Shadow. Although Under the Shadow is a work of fiction in the genre of horror, many key elements of its plot have been taken from my own experiences, stories I’ve heard and people I knew.”
You can see the trailer for Under the Shadow below and an exclusive clip from the film above.