Amos Lassen

Richard Green’s “Tokoloshe: An African Curse” is based on the legend of the Tokoloshe, an urban myth in which the Tokoloshe is a sinister creature that haunts people’s dreams and possesses them to commit evil acts. Here we have Arish Verma, a successful writer novelist who is being pressured to write a novel that will become a hit. He takes his family to an abandoned hotel in the Transkei, South Africa, having no idea that a demon lives there. Strange things start to happen and the dark past of the hotel is revealed. Many murders took place at the hotel since its establishment in 1808. There are rumors that this evil stems from the land being cursed since it was stolen from its native people. In the hotel isan ominous door which the family is afraid to enter. The writer becomes possessed and begins to terrorize his wife, Angela and their adopted African daughter, Ntombi. A local woman with supernatural visions tries to help them defeat the Tokoloshe.

In a nearby city, Thembi, a high school teacher, is experiencing strange visions and dreams that connect her to a gruesome past at the same hotel. Something seems to be pulling her back to the Hotel for unfinished business. She seeks the professional help of Dr. Richards a well-known psychologist. She hopes that his interventions can help her.

The idea of demonic possession seems to exist in every country and place in the world and throughout history. In this version, which was written by Richard Green and Arish Sirkissoon, we meet a family that is totally unaware of this legend and that where they are staying is demonically possessed. The demon eventually enters the writer’s psyche who then begins to terrorize his wife and daughter and a local woman with supernatural powers must help the family defeat the Tokolshe before the souls are stolen forever.

This is a film that keeps the audience on the edge of its seats throughout. It is filled with an eerie atmosphere and while the entire idea is fantastic, the film feels that it is very real. It was filmed in Africa and has a lot of local talent in it but the culture of the place was very obviously missing. The pace of the film grows on the viewer and is a fascinating take on an old story. The narrative is non-linear making it a totally different cinematic experience.

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