DACHRA (2018) Reviews and overview

 

Dachra is a 2018 Tunisian horror feature film written and directed by Abdelhamid Bouchnak.

Plot:

Yassmine, a Tunisian journalism student, is accompanied by her two male friends on a university assignment to solve the cold case of Mongia, a woman found mutilated twenty-five years ago, now imprisoned in an asylum, suspected of witchcraft.

As they pursue their investigation, the three compatriots stumble into the archaic and ominous world of Dachra, an isolated countryside compound filled with goats, silent women, mysterious drying meat and steaming pots. They are welcomed to stay overnight by the jovial yet menacing cult leader. However, when Yassmine discovers Dachra’s secrets, she must escape before she is also consumed…

Reviews:

“Bouchnak’s attempts at jump scares rarely land, and it does run overlong. Still, with cultural specificity, the distinct approach adds a new flavor to the mix that captivates. The filmmaker’s use of imagery is effective, as is his ability to ramp up the horror, culminating in a satisfying finale that sticks with you.” Bloody Disgusting

“The film is also a little languid, with slightly too much byplay between the three leads – though there are clues nicely embedded in the chat – and not much in the way of visceral horror, though it does spring some startling imagery and has a nice atmosphere of creeping dread.” The Kim Newman Web Site

“Bouchnak does add local flavor to the mix, though, along with some unsettling images and a pervading sense of dread. What undoes all the good in this film, however, is the constant bickering between the three main characters.” The Scariest Things

“The film is quite good, but it does follow some very familiar beats. Bouchnak does, however, make excellent use of his tools in creating a visually engaging piece that pulses with dread throughout.” Screen Anarchy

“Despite the screenplay’s various shortcomings and clichés, however, Dachra never feels silly in the moment. It’s got menacing atmosphere to spare, its aesthetically refined exploitation of stock genre elements (a sinister child, ominous hooded figures, etc.) all the more impressive because this very good-looking enterprise purportedly cost a total equivalent to $80,000.” Variety

“It builds up an atmosphere of menace right from the start and builds on through the film’s 114 minute running time. Director of photography Hatem Nechi contributes several memorable shots and atmospheric scenes that help elevate the film’s impact. These mix well with some rather gruesome scenes and effective jump scares.” Voices from the Balcony