8: A South African Horror Story (Review)

1 min read

Release Date: 19 June 2020 (Netflix)

Part of being a South African is that we’ve all heard folk tales about demons, witchcraft and connecting with the ancestors (whether we believe it or not) a majority of us can relate to such a narrative . This folkloric horror film set in the 1970s, Harold Holscher’s “8”(also known as “The Soul Collector) follows a family of 3, as they settle into a farmhouse haunted by dark deeds. Lazarus, a wanderer, returns to the area known as “Heaven on Earth” for redemption, after he was struck by tragedy of losing his family in the past. He carries a demon in his satchel that survives by feeding off the souls of the living and he sees a perfect opportunity in the family that is trying to settle in.


Holscher did a great job in keeping the narrative of the movie as authentic and as ‘South African’ as possible while maintaining a Hollywood quality production. The suspense keeps you glued to your screen ,as you unravel the mysteries that happen in this sacred place. Then there are moments where you’re shook out of your boots and you are literally frightened.

You must commend the South African film industry, where budgets are small, for attempting a good horror genre other than the usual slapstick or drama, with the same old story line and poor quality.

A great cast. Beautiful Cinematography. Door kreeking suspense. “Umthakathi” with a demon that needs to be fed. What more could you possibly ask for. A definite winning formula. This would definitely put a smile on Alfred Hitchcock’s face.

Rating 8/10

Watch Trailer: https://youtu.be/khkgma2s1tc

Cast: Keita Luna, Tshamano Sebe, Inge Beckmann, Garth Breytenbach, Chris April

Director/screenwriter: Harold Holscher

Producer: Jac Williams

Director of photography: David Pienaar

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