TIFF 2021: Saloum dir. Jean Luc Herbulot

The frenetic, genre jumping Saloum from Jean Luc Herbulot combining action beats with a revenge thriller, and dancing on the line of supernatural horror.

Three bad-ass mercs, Chaka (Yann Gael) Rafa (Roger Sallah), and Minuit (Mentor Ba) who each exude a laconic cool in their own ways, are guns for hire, and getting a drug dealer, Felix (Renaud Farah) out of the country, but when their plane makes an emergency landing, sabotaged, the group finds a weird welcome at a strange outpost run by Omar (Bruno Henry) and from that point on, the revelations keep coming as the men have to make a break for it.

There could have been more in the way of character development, but the lead trio personify a sense of cool, ease, and comfort with their characters that allowed me to buy into them, even as they encountered the usual action/horror tropes around them. These guys are just wicked cool (I’ve said cool a lot in this review, but these guys just totally emobdy it!), and makes me want to cosplay!

The reveals are solid, and brutal, and it’s fascinating to see the way the paranormal works and is portrayed outside of North America. There are curses, spirits, entities, and a bit of gunplay as they race towards the climax. I would love to see more of these three characters, and I love the supernatural work in the film.

It’s fun, different, and engagingly cool (I did it again!).

Saloum screens one last time at TIFF tonight, via digital. Check out something unique in Saloum!

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