New indie film, new take on possessions


Bad Wolf Films

Promotional poster for “Maya.” Directed by K/XI, the independent film follows the story of a young girl afflicted by jinn possession. Living in Pakistan, Maya and Kalika search for answers about their past while trying to save Maya.

Absolutely chilling and suspenseful, “Maya” incorporates a fresh view on possessions and their effects on others. 

Set in Pakistan, “Maya” follows a young girl suffering from a blood-driven demon inhabiting her body. She knows very little about her past, so it is difficult for her to explain her afflictions. She is accompanied by her adoptive sister as they search for answers. 

Reminiscent of “The Ring” (2002), Maya’s younger self is first seen descending the stairs silhouetted by dim lighting. This was an ingenious way of opening a movie. 

What can be appreciated is that the director K/XI utilized the way humans tend to jump to conclusions. Right when you think Maya would lunge at the screen, she would transfer to another scene to build additional tension. 

The cinematography offers a new view on the supernatural by adopting a documentary style. It is filmed by a handheld camera and brings the audience closer to the action on the screen. It feels as though you as the watcher are just along for the ride. 

K/XI started this project before “The Black Lake,” released in 2019. She stated in the Q&A session that she felt a strong connection to jinn and the supernatural from a young age. This connection was obvious in her work on this film. It was clear she understood what she was portraying in this film and she did it well. 

Not only did K/XI utilize her own experiences with the supernatural, but she also made sure to incorporate cultural aspects to the film. The entire film was spoken in Urdu and you could see famous Pakistani cities and traditional food throughout. It brought an interesting cultural significance to the possession genre. 

Maya was haunting and beautiful. Its colors and cinematography brought the whole film together in a way I could not imagine. I left the theater with white knuckles, and I sincerely applaud the work done on this film.