The Nigerian movie industry just may be making an attempt to bring back horror and thriller genre, a genre which at a point was our go to and raised the industry to its present fame – think Stephanie Okereke the ultimate femme fatale, Nneka The Pretty Serpent, Egg Of Life and the many cult classics that that golden entertainment era gave birth to. A few days ago, the trailer for Call Me By My Name was released in anticipation for the full movie release, which was released on valentine’s day. The trailer, which randomly popped on my Instagram, got my attention because of it’s similarity to Luca Guadagnino’s queer romance classic Call Me By Your Name. The similarity had me wondering if maybe we were getting a Nigerian remake – which would be rather surprising considering Nigeria’s mainstream homophobia – unfortunately this was not the case as my hopes were squashed two seconds into the trailer.
The plot of Call Me By My Name is simple enough – a police detective is forced to face his childhood demons while interrogating another man’s wife. Just a regular day on the job. The Bolaji Kekere-Ekun directed movie promises to explore the Mami Wata mythology as well as several African folklores and even touch down on the African pantheon. A lofty promise, maybe? One which the one minute trailer does not do justice to.
The trailer features the central character questioning the run-away wife, it also features a few light tricks and that is just about it. It does leave you curious – in a ‘ I really want to understand what this is all about’ way and not in a ‘I have to see the movie’ way. Considering the promises made, I could not help but expect more out of it all – i’m not expecting a battle scene or anything but I expected more than a gasping man and three lines. Call Me By My Name poses as a psychological thriller with strong roots in African folklore and elements of horror with what seems to be an interesting plot, why does the trailer not show this? Why does the trailer show almost nothing?
P.S I actually watched the full short film, it is actually better than the trailer makes you believe (it has its own flaws of course) which further begs the question, why does the trailer not show this?
Watch the trailer below
Vincent Desmond is a writer and journalist who mostly covers fashion, identity and pop culture.
He can be found on Instagram @vincentdesmond_