By MICHAEL GINGOLD
Family traditions take a terrifying turn in a supernatural saga set to terrify the Fantasia International Film Festival.
KRIYA is the first horror venture for acclaimed Indian filmmaker Sidharth Srinivasan, confronting Hindu rituals and the oppression of women. Co-produced by Andy Starke (IN FABRIC) and Pete Tombs (FREE FIRE), the film features a score by Jim Williams (POSSESSOR, RAW) and stars Navjot Randhawa, Noble Luke, Avantika Akerkar, Sudhanva Deshpande, Anuradha Majumdar and Kanak Bhardwaj.
The synopsis: “DJ Neel [Luke] encounters the ravishing Sitara [Randhawa] while working a club set one night and is transfixed by her. They return to Sitara’s place where Neel is horrified to see the gagged and shackled body of her dying father–Sitara’s grieving family keeping vigil around it. Caught completely unawares, Neel’s compassion is nevertheless aroused and he stays on. In India, patriarchal custom dictates that only a son can perform a parent’s last rites, but no such person exists in Sitara’s family. So when her father actually dies during the course of the night, Sitara coerces Neel to officiate the rituals of death. Thrust into a world of magic and transgression, Neel finally attempts to flee his waking nightmare. But as dawn breaks, it becomes evident that Sitara’s family is afflicted by an ancient curse. One that Neel is now very much a part of.”
The 2020 Fantasia International Film Festival runs digitally August 20-September 2; for more info, visit the official website.