Submitted by Evan B
Shideh manages to escape the apartment with her daughter Dorsa. However, the evil spirit has hold of beloved items belonging to both of them, allowing it to track them down no matter where they run.
This film takes place during the Iran-Iraq War. Iran is transitioning to a more religious regime after its Revolution. Shideh (Narges Rashidi) attempts to go back to medical school, but is denied due to her protesting the Revolution. She returns home to her Tehran apartment where she sadly locks away a medical textbook her mother gifted her before she died in a locked drawer. Soon after, Shideh’s husband Iraj (himself a doctor) is drafted to go to the front to aid in the war. Iraj asks Shideh to take their daughter Dorsa (Avin Manshadi) to his parents’ home outside the city as he is concerned that Tehran will soon be under attack by Iraqi forces. Shideh steadfastly refuses.
Alone, Shideh struggles to keep Dorsa happy and herself sane. One night, Dorsa tells Shideh that a new boy who moved in with his aunt in the complex after his parents were killed in the war told her an evil spirit – a djinn – was coming to curse them. Soon thereafter, a bomb falls into the building but miraculously doesn’t explode. However, the tenant living in the apartment where the bomb landed dies after Shideh is unable to resuscitate him. Although Shideh says that the shock of the bomb must have scared him to death, the tenant’s daughter claims that he screamed in fear at something she couldn’t see moments before the bomb dropped.
Dorsa’s beloved doll suddenly goes missing. Soon after, Dorsa grows ill and her fever will not break. Dorsa claims that the djinn stole her doll and brought it to the dead tenant’s apartment. But Shideh refuses to believe Dorsa despite witnessing some paranormal activity herself. Shideh’s neighbor hears the story about the djinn and believes it is real. The neighbor says that djinns steal beloved items of its victims so that it may haunt them no matter where they go. More and more tenants leave the apartment and flee Tehran as the war intensifies. Soon, Shideh and Dorsa are the only ones who remain in the complex. Dorsa refuses to leave without her doll, and remains very ill. Shideh brings Dorsa to a doctor, but the doctor says he can’t find any cause for Dorsa’s illness.
One night, Shideh hears a noise in the hallway and goes out to investigate. She is shocked to see a ghost-like sheet floating into the air. The sheet floats into the apartment and locks Shideh out until Dorsa opens the door. Shideh continues witnessing supernatural events, such as a strange man lurking in the shadows. She eventually flees her home with Dorsa, and is then arrested by police for being in public without a head covering. Although the police chief threatens to whip Shideh for her infraction, he ultimately lets her go with a warning. That night, in a dream, Shideh asks the djinn to take her instead of her daughter.
The next morning, Shideh rips apart her apartment trying to find Dorsa’s doll so they can leave. She eventually finds the doll, torn to pieces, inside the drawer where she locked her textbook, but finds that her textbook is missing. At the same time, Dorsa’s fever breaks. Shideh patches up the doll and then goes to the apartment of the dead tenant and sees her medical textbook is somehow inside the locked apartment. A bomb siren goes off and Shideh follows Dorsa to go down to the bomb shelter, promising to leave once the bombing ends. However, Shideh hears a girl crying in their apartment. She abandons the girl she followed to the shelter (thinking that it’s a trick by a djinn), and flees back to her apartment believing Dorsa is actually still there. On arriving in her apartment, Shideh finds a monster making the crying noises and realizes she did abandon Dorsa in the shelter.
Shideh runs back to the shelter, she finds Dorsa speaking to an unseen presence. Dorsa is angry her mother abandoned her in the shelter and says that the djinn will take care of her. Suddenly, a giant sheet envelops Dorsa and begins dragging the girl away. Shideh rips the sheet apart and saves her daughter, telling Dorsa how much she loves her. The djinn then attacks Shideh by turning the floor into a tar pit that Shideh sinks into. Dorsa rejects the djinn and helps her mother escape the tar pit. The two flee the apartment and begin driving out of Tehran towards Shideh’s inlaws. However, the film ends by showing that the djinn still has Shideh’s medical textbook and the head of Dorsa’s doll (which fell off the doll’s body as they were fleeing). Though they’ve escaped for now, the djinn may yet follow them as it possesses items dear to them.