The script by Felicity Evans, Toby Venables, and Remi Weekes portrays Bol and Rial as natural, human characters who are far from perfect. They are selfish and flat out refuse to take full ownership of their actions, so much so the house is more like a prison than a safe haven.
The atmosphere around these two is grim. The grey wetness of London makes simple trips to the doctor look inauspicious. Every interaction with another human is intimidating, which causes Bol and Rial to confine themselves to the house. Nowhere they go is safe because they can’t escape the lies made up in their head no matter where they go. Mosaku and Dirisu are outstanding actors giving emotional performances and keeping up with the plot pacing.
The ominous score amplifies the sense of dread as the film is self-aware enough to know these two don’t deserve any peace, not even from the music and sounds. Adding to the film’s creepy mood, scenes between their escape from Sudan, the house, and their subconscious all blend together to disorient the viewer. The viewer can’t gauge where they are in the story, which further helps to ramp up the horror.
It’s the third act where a few problems begin to present themselves. A major, emotional reveal has to compete with the introduction of a supernatural entity that sidelines its impact. The film is then rushed to a conclusion before the characters or the audience can process what they’ve learned. This made it hard to decide the characters’ sincerity and if Bol and Rial have genuinely learned from their experience. Maybe this isn’t supposed to be taken literally, as it’s clear the characters are stand-ins for various stages of grief.
Weeks put the dangers of being a refugee and immigration on display and seen through a horror lens. The film explores how a married couple handles the coexistence of the external horrors of war with the subconscious horrors of agony and mourning. Remorse is a heavy cross to bear. The things that plague the mind must be dealt with swiftly to free it of any lingering feelings of anguish. While Bol and Rial look to the future with hope, sadly, that is not the case for everyone. With the appalling levels of xenophobia plaguing the world, immigrant stories are extremely important to convey in all forms of media, especially cinema.