[EXPRESSO] Pantafa (2023) | Abruzzidook

Time for a freshly released italian horror film that will probably never leave “the Boot”.

Oh yeah, the italian mish mash of Somnia, Hereditary and Babadook that apparently was wished upon by someone, with a slightly laughable title even in its original language, at least if you’re not familiar with the regional Abruzzian folktale of the “pantafica” (here’s where the italian readers giggle, reasonibly so), a sort of ghost/witch.

The plot concerns a woman, Marta, moving with her daughter Nina to the little mountain burg of Malanotte (lit “Badnight”), in hope of curbing Nina’s sleep paralysis by escaping the frenetic rhythms of city living. But it happens that the house they moved into isn’t really helping, as is the lack on any children on the streets of Malanotte, and Nina symptoms get even worse, as she begins hallucinating a ghost of sorts that while sleeping steals her breath.

And bugger me senseless, it’s a surprisingly solid, effective mesh of the aforementioned movies, as it uses Southern Italy folklore to frame the uneasy relationship between the mother and the daughter, as well as the obvious conflict between the ways of small village seeped in religious rites, superstitions, legends, etc.

It’s a shame because it would even be straigh up good, if it didn’t slip notably at the end, with some rushed scenes in the final act that feel like the director decided to kinda learn the “wrong” lessons from the movies that clearly inspired it, but still, it’s a surprisingly well produced folk horror-thriller, gripping and definitely above mere decency, and i wasn’t always sure where exactly the plot was building to, already way more than i bargained for.

Flawed and a bit frustrating in how close to being great is, but still, color me pleasantly surprised by Emanuel Scaringi’s movie.



Inserisci i tuoi dati qui sotto o clicca su un'icona per effettuare l'accesso:

Logo di WordPress.com

Stai commentando usando il tuo account WordPress.com. Chiudi sessione /  Modifica )

Foto di Facebook

Stai commentando usando il tuo account Facebook. Chiudi sessione /  Modifica )

Connessione a %s...