In a similar fashion to how Guillermo del Toro set his ghost story The Devil's Backbone against the backdrop of the Spanish civil war, Babak Anvari's Under the Shadow is set during the 1980-88 Iran-Iraq war, which was one of the most devastating wars in history. Shideh and Dorsa find themselves tormented by a Djinn (Arabic demon), which seemingly attaches itself to Dorsa, causing strain in her relationship with Shideh.
It is a bit hard to classify Under the Shadow as a horror film, since much of the running time focuses on the wartime mother-daughter drama. While the film does feature the odd jump scare throughout, it really isn't until the climax when the paranormal activity takes over the plot. This isn't necessarily a bad thing, however it does make Under the Shadow a much slower paced film, which might test the patience of some viewers.