There’s something wonderfully progressive about the way Netflix blurs international and local boundaries with their selection of movies and series. With the success of Queen Sono, the streaming giant’s first script-to-screen African original series, comes another proudly South African offering, 8, a horror film.
8 follows the story of William Ziel who moves his wife, Sarah, and adopted niece, Mary, to the countryside after inheriting his estranged father’s home.
Soon after they move in William meets Lazarus, a mysterious farmhand shrouded in secrecy. In spite of Sarah’s reservations, Lazarus persuades William to hire him. He soon forges a kindred bond with Mary, who (like him) still misses her lost family.
But among the locals, Lazarus is an unwelcome menace who carries a dark secret in his worn-out bag – the demonic reincarnation of his deceased daughter. And in his efforts to calm her insatiable appetite for human souls, he facilitates several deaths and killings in the village – drawing ever closer to the Ziel family.
The movie stars Tshamano Sebe as Lazarus, Garth Breyetenbach as William Ziel, Inge Beckmann as Sarah, and Keita Luna as Mary.
With enthralling images, spine-chilling sound design, and a brilliant performance by Tshamano Sebe, director Harold Hölscher is able to blend familiar scares with a heartbreaking narrative.
2020 seems to be the year for South African horror films. Earlier this year Showmax released Rage, a film many claim is the best local horror film to date.