Zarrar Kahn, a Pakistani-Canadian filmmaker, has created a horror film that explores the patriarchal reality of Pakistan. In his debut feature, In Flames, Kahn uses supernatural horror to depict the sinister sense of being watched that women in Pakistan experience on a daily basis. The film follows Mariam, a young medical student and her mother Fariha as they navigate the power struggle that ensues after the death of their patriarch. Mariam finds solace in a secret romance with a fellow student, but after a traumatic event, she becomes consumed by nightmares and visions of dead-eyed demons. Kahn draws inspiration from French female directors such as Julia Ducournau and Mati Diop, who use genre in new and exciting ways. He transforms Pakistan’s patriarchal reality into an ominous demonic threat to the film’s central characters. Karachi, the birthplace of Sufism, provides the perfect backdrop for the film’s supernatural elements. The city has a long folkloric tradition of djinn and ghosts, which are inspired by the spirits of Sufi Islam. The film also highlights the discrimination that women face in Pakistan. Women’s property rights are rarely respected or enforced and families often apply social pressure on women to give up their property. Few women go to court because of the social stigma attached to being a woman in court. The film’s real men are scarcely less horrifying than the demons that haunt Mariam. One throws a brick through her car window and tries to grab her, while another stranger masturbates on her balcony. By framing his story as a horror film, Kahn gives Mariam agency over her tormentors. In socially-realist dramas, the protagonist often suffers, and that suffering is what the audience takes away. But in horror films like in Flames, the final girl conquers her demons and takes back her power.