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Panic Fest 24' "Azrael" - movie review

Writer Simon Barrett and filmmaker E.L. Katz have indeed made significant strides in the film industry, transitioning from their earlier works like "You're Next" and "Cheap Thrills" to their current projects involving iconic monsters like Godzilla and King Kong. "Azrael" marks their return to the horror genre, exploring themes of Satan, ancient religions, and faith, although the narrative feels somewhat familiar and lacking in freshness, despite commendable performances.

Mart Taniel's cinematography in "Azrael" is undeniably one of its strongest aspects, delivering shot after shot of breathtaking beauty, reminiscent of his work in "The Invisible Fight." Samara Weaving's performance as Azrael is another highlight, as she commands the screen with her undeniable talent, as Barrett himself emphasized during the Panic Fest 2024 screening Q&A.

However, the undead's appearance in "Azrael" harkens back to the chilling aesthetic of "We Are Still Here," evoking a sense of eerie nostalgia. Despite their haunting presence, their role within the film's narrative seems somewhat disjointed, lacking the depth and coherence seen in similar works.

Despite these shortcomings, "Azrael" remains an enjoyable horror film for those who appreciate the genre. While some moments may leave audiences yearning for more, Barrett and his team continue to chart their own course in filmmaking, with "Azrael" serving as another solid entry in their ever-expanding catalogue.


Director: E.L. Katz

Screenwriter: Simon Barrett

Cast: Samara Weaving, Vic Carmen Sonne, Katariina Unt

Cinematographer: Mart Taniel

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