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‘The Weekend’ review: Dir. Daniel Oriahi [TriBeCa 2024]

African horror films are few and far between, and films set within the genre often struggle to get attention. This is hopefully about to change with the arrival of Daniel Oriahi’s The Weekend at this year’s TriBeCa Film Festival. 

Set over the duration of one weekend, The Weekend follows a young couple, Luc (Bucci Franklin), and his bride-to-be, Nikiya (Uzoamaka Aniunoh). The pair live a beautiful life together in the city, but there is trouble in paradise when Nikiya insists upon meeting Luc’s family. Although still in contact with his parents, Luc has not been home for years, but after an ultimatum from Nikiya, Luc reluctantly travels with her to the family home. 

At just under two hours, The Weekend is a film that takes its time in revealing itself. The bulk of the first half is spent navigating relationship dynamics within the family unit. Alongside Luc and Nikiya, the audience is offered glimpses into the love life of Luc’s sister, Kama (Meg Otanwa), as well as his parents. With the exception of Kama’s abusive and misogynistic boyfriend, Zeido (James Timothy Gardiner), everyone gets along swimmingly. Then splinters begin to appear, and a secret from the past shatters the group into pieces. 

To share details of the nature of the secret would detract from the viewing experience of The Weekend. That being said, it is a revelation that plants The Weekend firmly into the horror genre, and whilst for many it will be obvious, it is still fun to watch play out on screen. The second half of the story deals with this harsh truth, and watching both Luc and Nikiya navigate the aftermath is riveting. 

As much squelchy entertainment as the second half of The Weekend provides, this is a film that is strongest in its opening half. Trying to figure out what exactly could have caused Luc to turn from his seemingly lovely family is wonderfully intriguing. The viewer knows that there must be something wrong with them, and therefore watching Nikiya, who herself has little in the way of family, bond with the group adds plenty of unexpected tension. Another exciting addition to the plot is the interactions between Luc’s family and the locals. They are respected and seemingly feared by the community; trying to ascertain why provides plenty of enjoyment for the viewer. 

Oriahi’s The Weekend explore skeletons in the closet whilst also contrasting the young city dwellers with those that cling to heritage and reside in more isolated communities. That voodoo practices and rituals are still adhered to could not be further from Luc’s life of comparable luxury. Seeing both worlds juxtaposed together provides a rich socio-economic component to The Weekend that is begging for further analysis. A Nigerian thriller with plenty of bloody elements to please genre fans, The Weekend has the potential to put African genre movies on the map once and for all. 

The Weekend

Kat Hughes

The Weekend


Africa is a continent with a criminal lack of genre offerings, but this might be all about to change thanks to Daniel Oriahi’s The Weekend, which makes excellent strides for horror cinema. 


The Weekend was reviewed at TriBeCa 2024. 

Kat Hughes is a UK born film critic and interviewer who has a passion for horror films. An editor for THN, Kat is also a Rotten Tomatoes Approved Critic. She has bylines with Ghouls Magazine, Arrow Video, Film Stories, Certified Forgotten and FILMHOUNDS and has had essays published in home entertainment releases by Vinegar Syndrome and Second Sight. When not writing about horror, Kat hosts micro podcast Movies with Mummy along with her five-year-old daughter.


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