the trailer for this boarding school zombie horror has dropped just in time for halloween

'Zombi Child' is perfect for fans of voodoo folklore – and Rihanna!

by Douglas Greenwood
16 October 2019, 1:50pm

Bertrand Bonello is no stranger to audacious and diverse moviemaking. His last feature, a Paris-set drama about a group of young people orchestrating a mass terror attack, called Nocturama caused an uproar when it debuted back in a politically fraught time period in 2015, just months after the Charlie Hebdo attack. Before that though, he was dealing in less dangerous territory, heading up the celebrated YSL fashion biopic, Saint Laurent. Alongside the likes of Gaspar Noé and Claire Denis, he’s famed for being one of the director’s riding the New French Extremity wave.

For his latest feature, he’s switched gears once again with Zombi Child, a horror story set between 1960s Haiti and an elite girls school in Paris half a century later. It opens in the former Caribbean setting, telling the story of a man who comes back from the dead and is forced to work on a sugar cane plantation, before we fast forward decades in time to meet his fictional great granddaughter. She and her mother moved to France after an earthquake shook the island of Haiti in 2010, but everywhere she looks, she’s reminded of the horrors of colonialism in her predominantly white girls school. Soon, the two stories overlap, and the secrets of her family’s past unfurl.

Flitting between the past and the present is Bertrand Bonello’s forté, and once again he flexes it excellently here. Critics have already praised the way the film juxtaposes an ancient story of voodoo folklore with an impassioned monologue about the life and work of Rihanna. Sounds like our ideal crossover, tbh.

Zombi Child still undoubtedly a horror film designed to mess with your head though, with flecks of 70s horror techniques peppered throughout it. Fancy diving into the deep end of its arthouse horror excellence this spooky season? Well, you can watch the trailer below before catching it on Mubi or in UK cinemas this Friday, October 18th.