‘Where she goes it follows’
The Tokoloshe is a 2018 supernatural horror film directed by Jerome Pikwane from a screenplay co-written by Richard Kunzmann. The movie stars Petronella Tshuma, Coco Merckel, Leiden Colbet, Ramunasi Fhathwani and Natasja Jacobs.
Busi, a destitute woman with dangerously repressed emotions, lands a job as a cleaner at a run down hospital in the heart of Johannesburg. Desperate for money so she can also relocate her younger sister, she learns to cope despite the predatory and corrupt hospital manager.
However, when Busi discovers an abandoned girl in the hospital, one who believes she’s tormented by supernatural forces, she must also face her own past demons in order to save the child from the abusive and insatiable monster that pursues them both relentlessly…
“The Tokoloshe unfortunately falters towards the end as it makes the mistake of revealing its monster. Everyone knows that films are more frightening when the monster remains a mystery, and here it’s too much. The story would have been so much more powerful had we not seen the movie monster. The design choice is also a little too close to another very well-known movie creature, and the similarity is a big distraction.” Kat Hughes, The Hollywood News
” …the milieu of contemporary South Africa is fresh ground for horror – and even if the creature that shows up at the end represents a slightly overfamiliar monstrousness, it’s an impressively unpleasant design (and not shown too much, though it resembles a slimier Pumpkinhead) and an imaginative depiction of an African myth about a child-snatching demon…” The Kim Newman Website
” …exposes a sort of national schizophrenia, as the tokoloshe, both metaphorical malaise and eventually literal, reified beast, continues prodding at open wounds yet to be cauterised, and stealing away the innocence of childhood itself. Canny viewers will not be surprised by the film’s subtly telegraphed twist, but Pikwane wisely reveals it in an understated fashion…” Anton Bitel, Projected Figures
Running time and aspect ratio:
91 minutes | 1.85: 1
Original title: Repression