Ali Abbasi

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

The director will be present

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.


DirectorAli Abbasi
ScreenplayAli Abbasi, Maren Louise Käehne
CinematographyNadim Carlsen, Sturla Brandth Grøvlen
EditingOlivia Neergaard-Holm
MusicMartin Dirkov
WithEllen Dorrit Petersen, Cosmina Stratan, Peter Christoffersen, Björn Andrésen
SoundRune Bjerre Sand
ProducerJacob Jarek