Sundance 2022: Supernatural Thriller “Master” Explores the Everyday Horrors of Racism—and the Living Nightmares They Can Become

Mariama Diallo’s debut feature film Master, which she wrote and directed, deftly navigates several registers in terms of genre—slipping from supernatural horror to intellectual drama to psychological thriller and back again.

The film doesn’t pull any punches. Its biting critique of the abysmal state of American race politics, particularly in the hallowed halls of the ivory tower, is vicious and direct. And while I won’t give away the end, I will say that it’s largely satisfying and entirely unexpected—perhaps offering a new and effective rejoinder when the horrors of the past inevitably bleed into the present.