KANDISHA (2020) Reviews and overview

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Kandisha is a 2020 French horror film about a teenage girl that summons up a demon to commit an act of revenge and soon begins to regret it.

Written and directed by Alexandre Bustillo and Julien Maury (The Deep HouseLeatherfaceAmong the LivingLivid; Inside). Produced by Wassim Béji, Delphine Clot and Guillaume Lemans.

The Esprits Frappeurs/Wy Productions movie stars Mathilde Lamusse, Samarcande Saadi and Suzy Bemba.


It is summer break and best friends Amélie, Bintou and Morjana hang together with other neighbourhood teens. Nightly, they have fun sharing scary stories and urban legends. But when Amélie is assaulted by her ex, she remembers the story of Kandisha, a powerful and vengeful demon.

Afraid and upset, Amélie summons her. The next day, her ex is found dead. The legend is true and now Kandisha is on a killing spree and it’s up to the three girls to break the curse…



” …Bustillo and Maury deliver authentic characters with rooting interest and nestle in sly social commentary. The deaths hurt in more ways than one. This supernatural slasher may not offer anything new, but it does keep you entertained thanks to its characters, a fantastic looking entity, and some bone-crushing, ultra-violent deaths.” Bloody Disgusting

Kandisha is a horror without great creative flashes, bland and too derivative, which entertains moderately especially if you forget the names of those in the direction (even if the credit enjoyed by the two has been inexorably running out for some time already … ).” Il Cineocchio

“Even with occasionally off-putting heroines and bald spots in its story, “Kandisha” earns a routine score because it’s a routine spook show […] Kandisha slows through a few predictable stretches, but it always looks slick, boasting a few good gruesome bits to even out lame lightning flashes and other basic boos that are part and parcel with potboiler paranormal activity.” Culture Crypt

Kandisha is a slimy, uber-violent, and refreshingly naturalistic supernatural slasher that coasts along just shy of being something great. Elevated scares– including a shocking third act kill– are as common as cumbersome and impenetrable rituals and narrative resets […] Still, for a late-summer supernatural blood fest, Kandisha retains enough original DNA, alongside a smattering of Bustillo and Maury’s trademark brutality, to work.” Dread Central

” …as the consequences close in on the white girl Amélie, the surprisingly strong racial rancour in much of the early banter starts to seem like a festering wound we should have noticed. The closing stretch – including an exorcism in an imam’s incantation-lined apartment (interior design goals!) – is brutally effective. By this time, Aisha Kandisha is a towering succubus…” The Guardian

Kandisha may not be my absolute favorite Alexandre Bustillo and Julien Maury (it would be nigh impossible to surpass Inside), but it is one damn good horror movie. The ending is bleak and eerie, allowing another chance to cherry-top the film’s rich mythology. It is a splashy display of directorial quirks, well-orchestrated scares, and deep-cutting character drama.” Josh at the Movies

“On a technical level, Kandisha has everything you could hope for: great visuals and good sound design create a captivating atmosphere that draws you into the film, make it scary and engaging. Plus, the cast is really excellent and give the film the necessary emotional impact. But narratively, the film is problematic as f*ck.” Kalafudra’s Stuff

“At around eighty minutes, Kandisha is like rage itself: sudden, violent and unbelievably brutal. There’s an attempt at emotional depth that didn’t quite work for me and a noticeable lack of teeth-chattering anticipation, but Kandisha is an unforgettable villain and could quite possibly go down as one of the more inspired (and horrific) creations of the year.” Killer Horror Critic

” …the horror elements grow out of the circumstances the girls live in rather naturally, even feel real to an extent. And add to that a rather nicely structured narrative, and some nicely over-the-top effects work and you’ve got yourself pretty cool genre entertainment…” Search My Trash

” …Kandisha in her more monstrous stages is an effectively nightmarish entity. In her final form, she towers over her victims and is possessed of incredible strength. The kills are brutal, and, give or take some CGI flames, impressively done. The body ripping scene is especially impressive. Unfortunately, none of the victims are developed enough that we care about them. Even the three leads are badly underwritten.” Voices from the Balcony

Release date:

Kandisha had its world premiere at the Sitges Film Festival in Spain on October 16. 2020.

Kandisha will stream on the Shudder platform on July 22, 2021.

Cast and characters (alphabetical):

Walid Afkir … Recteur
Suzy Bemba … Bintou
Bakary Diombera … Ako
Sandor Funtek … Erwan
Félix Glaux-Delporto … Antoine
Dylan Krief … Ben
Mathilde Lamusse … Amélie
Nassim Lyes … Abdel (as Nassim Si Ahmed)
Samarcande Saadi … Morjana
Mériem Sarolie … Kandisha

Technical details:

85 minutes


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