by Daniel Orubo
Like Jennifer Kent’s grief-fuelled The Babadook and Jordan Peele’s racially-charged Get Out, the most effective horror films are the ones that are able to successfully ground their bizarre premise in very real feelings of anxiety.
You, watching a good horror film:
This is why Tolu Tanner’s Ajuwaya has me legitimately excited. As a (relatively) young Nigerian, I can’t remember any situation – in the past couple of years – giving me more anxiety than checking where I’d been posted to for NYSC (I got Lagos btw).
This feeling of anxiety is one I know a lot of us – whether you’ve survived a gruelling service year or are still waiting to get posted – can relate to; and that’s exactly why Ajuwaya‘s NYSC-horror premise is a stroke of genius.
Ajuwaya follows six corpers (played by Rahama Sadau, Timini Egbuson, Lanre Hassan and other newcomers) who get posted to a remote village in Osun state for their youth service and unwittingly awaken an age-long evil.
While the iconic Nollywood films we grew up with – like Nneka The Pretty Serpent and Living in Bondage – were spread over various genres, the new Nollywood filmmakers seem to be stuck in a rom-com rut; so yeah, Ajuwaya feels like a breath of fresh air.
Ajuwaya, which was successfully screened at the Lagos NYSC camp just this week, will be released in cinemas nationwide on July 7.