Bertrand Bonello — an intellectual, cinephile, and the creator of films about Yves Saint-Laurent, pornography, and the Paris terrorists — presents a new project: a mystical story about occult spirits and impressionable teenagers. The director reimagines the zombie horror genre, following his elder colleague Jim Jarmusch, who also put in his two cents on the subject at this year’s Cannes Film Festival. But Bonello’s story is even more alarming and bone-chilling. Haiti, zombies, voodoo cults, contemporary France, and a mix of hip-hop and electronic music are all part of this film’s representation of the worlds of the living and the dead, which sharply differs from classic American horror films in this way. The plot centers around an old Haitian, Clairvius Narcisse, who was once turned into a zombie. He comes alive in a thrilling story told by his granddaughter in present-day Paris, which opens the doors of her school for ancient spirits whom the teenagers are simply incapable of resisting. Ultimately, Bonello is able to create an intriguing and esoteric film straddling the genres of political thriller, ethnographic research, and teenage horror à la “Stranger Things.” The ideas of colonialism, liberalism, revolution, and sexuality come together in a single film which will set you on edge from the very beginning and keep you hooked until the very end.
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