Under the Shadow director Babak Anvari has assembled an all-star cast including Armie Hammer, Dakota Johnson, and Zazie Beetz for this devilishly disturbing horror thriller.
New Orleans bartender Will (Armie Hammer) keeps his affable demeanor by maintaining a steady buzz throughout the day. Seemingly content in a long-term relationship with his live-in girlfriend Carrie (Dakota Johnson), Will secretly pines for one of his regulars, Alicia (Zazie Beetz), and drowns any lingering doubts about his life choices with shots of whiskey and 10 AM beers. After a bloody brawl leaves one of Will’s loyal customers with an oozing gash on the side of his face and sends a group of college kids fleeing, a cell phone is mysteriously left behind at the bar. Will breaks into the phone and encounters something far ghastlier than he could have imagined, bringing a malevolent presence into his life that’s impossible to escape. Babak Anvari captured the film world’s attention with inventive chiller Under the Shadow, and in his English-language debut, the director displays the same deftness at building unspeakable dread by channeling the addled psyches of his protagonists. As much as any gruesome special effects, it’s the film’s penetrating portrayal of a man gradually losing his grip and its unsettling depiction of toxic masculinity gone awry that truly get under the skin.
CAST: ARMIE HAMMER, DAKOTA JOHNSON, ZAZIE BEETZ, KARL GLUSMAN
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