Director: Marco Rosson
Cast: Margherita Remotti, Claudia Marasca, Diego Runko
Production Company: Iria Cultura
Runtime: 90 minutes
There are those who believe that witches are evil beings that possess supernatural powers. However, many have concluded that these women were often wrongly persecuted. Could both of these views be right in some kind of weird twist?
Director Marco Rosson takes us down a winding path in Shanda’s River (2018).
In the movie, Emma goes to a small town in Italy to research the tale of Shanda, a witch who was killed in the early 1800s. She falls victim to a magic spell that forces her to live the same day over and over. Can she break the loop before she dies… again?
Interesting decisions lead to strange variations in Emma’s tragic fate. Some clues are generated through experience and crucial discussions. Other hints come directly from her visions of Shanda. How Emma deals with each recurring day is part of the mystery…
Margherita Remotti from New Order (2012) provides a determined performance in the role of Emma. She has to deal with characters who can’t remember the same things she can. This allows her to show a a wide range of emotions. She can be terrified or resigned, depending on the situation.
The rest of the cast does a wonderful job supporting Remotti and the central narrative. Claudia Marasca from Red Net (2016), Toni Pandolfo from Dracula 3D (2012), and Marcella Braga from Wrath of the Crows (2013) all have important roles in the movie.
This film is inspired by Italian horror movies from the past. It’s set in modern times, but has a gothic horror ambience at the same time. It deals with themes comparable to those seen in Bava’s Lisa and the Devil (1973) and Argento’s Suspiria (1977).
Shanda’s River also has a lot in common with Groundhog’s Day (1993), but is obviously darker in nature. The Campus (2018) took a similar direction with cyclical events. Both films start with the same basic premise, but end up in very different places.
The music by Mauro Crivelli keeps everything feeling creepy. The practical gore effects by Eleonorita Acquaviva are often raw and bloody. Hang around after the end credits for an additional scene. Rosson could easily follow this film with a sequel.
Shanda’s River delivers again and again. You could get caught up in its mad rhythm…
– John Migliore
For more information on the film, check out the links below…