Basketmouth’s first-ever feature film The Exorcism of Alu is far away from the comedian’s wheelhouse. Teased as a horror movie on his Instagram, I had been thinking it was a prank. Well, it’s not! The trailer dropped this morning and it is eerily good, brilliantly enigmatic and suspenseful. It’s got a dark, shaky, Blumhouse-y feel in its production, with a soundtrack ready to invade your bloodstream. Even better: the movie is based on true life events and took place in Kaduna in 1998. Names have been changed, sure, but what’s there not to love about horror movies based on real happenings?
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In the trailer, a cloaked figure stands ominously behind a curtain in a room – it appears as a reflection in a mirror, sits head rested at a dining table and jolts up, and then holds a door and creepily withdraws its hands. Already the best trailer I have seen from Nollywood this year. As a horror fan who had a wish that Nollywood make a horror in 2019, one coming from Baskemouth was extremely unlikely. You’d expect that the comedian’s first movie tryout would be a glossy, overbloated comedy, in the fashion of the forgettable ones made by his comic peers. But, boohoo, it’s not. The Exorcism of Alu is arriving at a time where Nollywood desperately needs a horror movie rejuvenation, a way to enrich our sauceless, cinematic diet.
Comedy and horror are two sides of the same coin. Case in point: Jordan Peele, whose early portfolio leaned towards comedy until he made the ”transition” to horror, giving us Get Out and the upcoming Us. It took Basketmouth six years to make the movie, he wrote on Instagram. Starring Rekiya Yusuf, Tevez Houston, and Bright Okpocha aka Basketmouth, The Exorcism of Alu is a film by Philipe Gaynor and it hits cinemas January 15.