Julien Neaves, Caribbean Head Writer
Last week for #cariwoodwednesday (every Wednesday on the RMR Facebook page) I reviewed the TT short film Douen about the titular Caribbean folklore character. So I decided to continue that trend this week with another Caribbean folklore character, the blood-sucking, skin-shedding, ball-of-fire transforming soucouyant.
The 2017 St Lucian horror short Soucouyant was written and directed by Barbadian-born Sean Michael Field. In it the titular ancient spirit, which appears as a beautiful woman, has been preying on the residents of the coastal village of Gros Islet. After claiming eight victims it begins searching for its next as well as a replacement for its “tortured skin”.
The highlight of the film is the strong visuals. I enjoyed the creepy cinematography and I loved the look of the soucouyant. The lovely Aiasha Gustave plays the character with the perfect combination of sensuality and ominousness. Kimhia Toussaint also does some great voice over narration which adds to the dark fairy tale tone.
The film has its share of issues though. The story is a bit all over the place and the pace is plodding at times, which is not something you want in a film that’s under 11 minutes. And most of the acting is quite wooden, which is not surprising as the film was shot as a challenge and none of the actors or crew ever worked on a film before (ilandboysfilm.com). But knowing these restrictions makes one appreciate Soucouyant even more as it is a great looking film and a decent enough watch. And anything that helps promote Caribbean folklore gets points in my book.
Editor Jules’s Score: 5.5 out of 10
You can watch Soucouyant for yourself by clicking here. And you can check out more Caribbean content below:
Julien “Editor Jules” Neaves is a TARDIS-flying, Force-using Trekkie whose bedroom stories were by Freddy Krueger, learned to be a superhero from Marvel, but dreams of being Batman. I love promoting Caribbean film (Cariwood), creating board games and I am an aspiring author. I say things like “12 flavours of awesome sauce”. Read more.