British writer-director Remi Weekes’s arresting first feature smartly utilises the horror genre to explore the hostile environment experienced by Sudanese refugees Bol (Sope Dirisu) and Rial (Wunmi Mosaku). Case worker Mark (Matt Smith) places the married couple in a grotty house with peeling wallpaper (“a palace”), urging them to “get along”, “fit in” and “make it easy for people”.
Outside, an unfriendly neighbour observes Bol from her window, while three schoolboys taunt a disoriented Rial, telling her to “go back to Africa”. At home, Bol is haunted by voices in his head and noises from within the walls, echoes of grief, guilt and shame that assume bodily forms. Genuine jump scares are bolstered by the film’s spooky sound design, as well as terrific performances from Dirisu and Mosaku, whose terror is palpable.