Local director’s film debut a chilling modern fairy tale

One of the best things about Netflix is how it has provided an amazing platform for new independent talent.

Case in point, this week we’re looking at local director Harold Hölscher’s first ever feature-length film, 8 (or The Soul Collector if you’re in the US).

Taking place “somewhere” in 1977 SA, the film centres on the white farming family of William, Sarah and their adopted daughter Mary, who move into a farmhouse left by William’s father.

Soon, Mary meets a wandering sangoma, Lazarus, and the two become unlikely friends.

However, it soon becomes clear that Lazarus is hiding a dark secret that will put the entire family in danger.

While billed as a horror movie, 8 plays out more like a traditional fairytale – think a combination of Little Red Riding Hood and Hansel and Gretal.

There aren’t any real scares to be had here. Rather, there’s a constant tension throughout the film that comes from us knowing all about Lazarus’s intentions while the other characters are left in the dark.

As a debut film, there are some issues that stop it from becoming great but it’s still a good first attempt and as a local film, deserves support.

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