It’s been a long time since a jump scare has genuinely grabbed me and left me unnerved in the pit of my guts the way Iranian writer-director Babak Anvari succeeded with his patiently executed and thought-provoking debut feature Under the Shadow. This carefully crafted movie will have its Florida premiere at this year’s second annual Popcorn Frights Film Festival (Tickets for Florida’s premiere horror movie fest Popcorn Frights on sale today; a chat with the fest’s creators), and it’s bound to be a surprise hit of the festival. It’s also one of those rare horror films that crosses over in appeal to fans of foreign language cinema, as it doesn’t overdo the cheap scares with gore and harbors an insightful connection to a particular culture and history, in the case Iran of the late 1980s.

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