Nyctophobia is the latest offering from prolific Emirati writer and director Tariq Al Kazim, the young movie director’s latest foray into the suspense filled genre of horror, who once again teams up with award-winning Romanian actor and producer Robert Cristian Trif.
Al Kazim’s 14th film is entitled Nyctophobia, meaning ‘fear of the dark’.
This short psychological thriller follows our hero, Julia, played by Heba Al Hamwi, who also played Sarah in Kazim’s 2018 film, Until Midnight.
In the new film, Julia is a writer seeking solitude in a peaceful Al Ain farmhouse, away from the distractions of busy city life in Dubai.
We quickly come to realise she is not alone in the house, as clues that someone else is there are revealed to us, in what rapidly descends into a psychological thriller.
Julia discovers all the doors are locked….and there’s no escape.
Actor Robert Cristian Trif takes up the tale: “I play a role that’s new to me, as this is my first time playing in a horror film. My character plays a disturbing man who tries to win over the woman, and plays with her mind. But ultimately we discover both our characters meet a cruel ending.”
Heba says: “The way I see the story is as symbolic of the fears we have and how these fears stand in our way throughout life. When we let those fears overwhelm us, they take over and metaphorically kill us.”
To prepare for the role, the actress says she watched a lot of documentaries about nyctophobia, the fear of darkness. “Mainly, I let the worst images of dying take over my vision so that I would be living the fear - not just acting it,” she explains.
She also admits delving deep into the character and the situation played out in the movie was a “heavy and impactful experience.”
Director Tariq Al Kazim says fans of his previous films will enjoy his new outing, which once again draws on his love of horror and fertile imagination.
Trif says he enjoyed the way the character’s descent into evil intent builds up, and reveals he spent considerable time researching gangsters and studying criminology to better understand the motivation of his character – which he also admits he enjoyed playing.
Four months in the making, the film will be appearing in UAE cinemas from February. The premiere will be held in Dubai.
Source: The Shakespeare Agency