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REVIEW: ‘It Lives Inside’ hits the mark of folklore horror

Reporter+AJ+Stash+Castillo+attended+a+free+screening+at+the+Loft+Cinema+of+It+Lives+Inside+for+University+of+Arizona+students+on+September+20.+The+Loft+Cinema+and+other+local+movie+theaters+have+tickets+available.
AJ Stash Castillo
Reporter AJ Stash Castillo attended a free screening at the Loft Cinema of “It Lives Inside” for University of Arizona students on September 20. The Loft Cinema and other local movie theaters have tickets available.

Director Bishal Dutta spins a new horror tale combining traditional horror elements with Hindu mythology as well as social commentary on being Indian-American.

In the film, Samidha, who goes by Sam, pushes away her Indian identity in order to fit in with students at her school, forcing away her best friend Tamira as well. However, Tamira is also having her own problems in the form of a demonic entity known as Pishacha latching itself onto her.

The film itself had moments where the pacing was quite slow, but the score of the film amped up everything. While there were quite a handful of jump-scares, it was these moments of waiting that allowed the film to send chills down the spines of the audience.

The basic but effective setting of the film also gave voice to being an immigrant in a new land. The homes of the Indian-American families have a blend of traditional American housing with the twist of their own heritage. It also opened a door to a darker side as the film went on. 

Sam, as a character, embodies what it’s like to be a child of immigrant parents looking to fit into a new place. Whether it’s looking more “American” as well as pushing away their own heritage. Actress Megan Suri personified this, especially through little details like speaking English in her household instead of Hindi.

Mohana Krishnan, who portrays Tamira, also does a great job of portraying someone spiraling out of fear. The rest of the cast was small, with few known faces, but the cast as a whole seemed to have great chemistry with one another. 

The Pishacha was just as scary as the trailers made it out to be and this intensified as the movie continued on. As it entered a scene, the music also amplified the fear the characters feel and the Pishacha creates. 

As far as a precursor to October beginning next week and the countdown to Halloween will soon begin, “It Lives Inside ” is a great way to start the spooky season and open one’s mind to a new subgenre of horror.


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