A house by a lake in the woods. No electricity, no running water, but instead there are healthy vegetables from the garden. Elena from Rumania, who starts working as a domestic help in the home of Louise and Kasper in Denmark, seems to have arrived in a paradise of self-sufficiency. But then the young woman – finding herself in a financial predicament – agrees to carry Louise’s child. The surrogate mother’s pregnancy invites something uncanny into this idyllic place. Ali Abbasi, born in 1981 and raised in Iran but now living in Sweden, offers us a variation on the notion of a birth of horror – a well-known motif not only from Rosemary’s Baby – in his debut feature. It is the fear of the monster that potentially grows inside the woman’s body and consumes the host like a parasite. Shelley is a skillful contribution to the genre, which sparingly uses shock effects and instead relies on an eerie atmosphere created by an ingeniously designed sound track. References arouse suspicions, reminiscences lead to expectations. It grows, full of foreboding, it thrives and expands, it occupies body and dreams, it purrs like a feline predator, innocent and dangerous: this fantastically alien horror that the mind so effortlessly gives birth to. (as)

The director will be present.



Denmark 2016
92 Min. color. DCP. E/e

Director: Ali Abbasi

Script: Ali Abbasi, Maren Louise Käehne

Camera: Nadim Carlsen, Sturla Brandth Grøvlen

Editor: Olivia Neergaard-Holm

Music: Martin Dirkov

Cast: Ellen Dorrit Petersen, Cosmina Stratan, Peter Christoffersen, Björn Andrésen


Bildrausch 2016