Movie Review

Movie Review: ILE OWO

Movie Review: ILE OWO

Basic Info:

Movie Title: Ile Owo
Director: Dare Olaitan
Writter: Dare Olaitan
Runtime: 1hours, 35 minutes

Originally released at the cinemas in June 2022, the movie ILE OWO, is currently on the top ten list of Nigerian movies on Netflix. The Nollywood horror/thriller written and expertly directed by Dare Olaitan and produced by Kayode Kasum has an array of some of our Nollywood like Tina Mba, Akin Lewis, Mofe Duncan, Efa Iwara, Bisola Aiyeola, Bukunmi Adeaga-Ilori (Kie-Kie) and Immaculata Oko-Kasum as our main protagonist Busola.

Busola, a young, innocent lady desirous of finding a fitting life partner, is unknowingly picked by a diabolical family (The Owos) committed to performing a ritual every twenty-five years. They are committed to sacrificing a virgin to some deity to guarantee their immortality. Also, it is necessary to follow strict instructions and procedures during the process or face the consequences. The unsuspecting Busola meets Tunji Owo. He fits all she ever wanted in a husband. Ignorant of the schemes of her man, which are apparent to the viewers, the ritual process begins on their first date. The viewers get a dose of suspense and rising action that keeps them wondering if she will survive.

The Movie director’s goal is clear. He created the experience that comes with the horror genre using an ominous and suspenseful sound score. The look and feel created by the lighting and cinematography with dark tones adopted by the Director Of Photography further articulate the director’s goal. They used camera angles and rack-focusing techniques to create mystery where the characters seem oblivious to the surrounding dark forces however, the audience’s attention is drawn to them.

The plot is somewhat predictable. There is no unexpected turn of events that will leave the viewers in shock. The director of photography shot the scene well and the actors gave commendable performances. In addition, the flow of events and activities from the beginning to the end helps develop and tell the story. The scenes develop smoothly as units of the larger dramatic unit with natural-sounding dialogues and logical development of conversation. The introduction of the characters, their circumstances, and the mounting tension all lead the story to the end although, the motivation of one of the main characters in the movie, Busola Dad, played beautifully by Akin Lewis is unclear.

I will rate the movie on a scale of 1-5 using the following criteria:

  • Story
  • Cinematography and lighting
  • Visual post-production
  • Acting and Directing
  • Production Design and art direction.

The purpose is to give an objective opinion highlighting what worked in the production and what could be better.

Story: The story development is cliched, yet the character development is commendable. The way they talk, act and look correspond with the impression they should create in addition, the dialogues sound natural – 2

Cinematography and Lighting: The techniques used by the Director of Photography regarding angles, lens choices, and camera movement is commendable. There is a consistent visual language that helps to convey the directors’ vision – 3.5

Visual Post Production: The pace of the visual edits fits the film’s tone. The Visual and special effects used could have been done better – 1.7

Acting and Directing: Most of the performances were convincing. You will get a feeling of watching the characters and not the actors portraying them. The director had a clear vision and attempted to execute to the best of the resources available – 3

Sound: A good use of sound to convey the theme and genre of the movie 3

Producing: In general, it was a good production – 3

2.7 / 5


I recommend this film to anyone seeking escapism for 1 hour 35 mins. It is not a complete waste of time.

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Niyi Muyi

Niyi Muyi is a visual storyteller (a photographer, cinematographer, director, producer) and entrepreneur. He is the team lead at iSHOOT & Co, a Nigerian-based Video production company passionate about developing talents who tell authentic stories through independent film, theatre, television and digital content/spaces. He is also the founder of USEDCAMERANG, an e-commerce platform where used filmmaking equipment can be put up for sale, bought and rented by filmmakers. He is passionate about seeing and leaving behind a better Nigeria. Follow him on all social media channels @niyimuyi

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