Review Sunyi (2019)

Sunyi showcases most of the director’s style and jump-scares without ever worrying about the story. It’s pretty basic—in terms of story and scares, after all.

Awi Suryadi has become a legit name in Indonesian horror cinema. His three recent horrors (Danur, Danur 2: Maddah, Asih; dubbed as Danur universe) were all blockbuster hits with mixed to negative reviews condemning his over-abuse of cinematic style (including the never-ending Duch tilts) that borrows from famous horror auteurs, jump-scares with blatant sound effects, and, mostly, weak scripts. His recent venture, Sunyi, is a loose adaptation of the 1998 South Korean horror blockbuster, Whispering Corridors—a horror which isn’t necessarily needing an adaptation.

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Review It Comes / 来る (2019)

Tetsuya Nakashima’s horror devices a long list of plot twist mechanisms simultaneously and enticingly in one grand, yet campy and long-winded horror that demands full attention.

Tetsuya Nakashima (Confession, The World of Kanako) has always been known as a visual extravagant with flair for narrative overdrive. With portfolio of bleak murder mysteries that always haunt long after the movies end, Mr. Nakashima now steps further into horror territory with It Comes (also known as Kuru), an adaptation of Ichi Sawamura novel, Bogiwan ga Kuru. Similar to his most notable works, even in his horror debut, his movie is outright dark, mysterious, visceral and demanding. At one point, this horror reminds me to the cult-making Korean horror, The Wailing; what makes it different is: it’s campier and bigger in scale.

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Review Pet Sematary (2019)

The new Pet Sematary turns the dead into a whole new creepy entity compared to the 1989 adaptation.

There’s one famous Stephen King’s quote that works to dive in to most of his works. “Nightmares exist outside of logic,” he said before clinching his statement with an exclamation that adding explanation is no fun. That quote also works to delve into the new Pet Sematary, an adaptation of a novel which King himself always claimed to be one of the toughest even for him. Duo directors, Kevin Kölsch and Dennis Widmyer, seem to hold the creed too well: gone beyond the logic and giving little to no explanation for it.

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Review The Hole in the Ground (2019)

The Hole in the Ground almost works in a similar manner as The Babadook—about parental challenge; only this one delves to deep into the lore.

I was trembling when I first realized Lee Cronin’s directorial effort, The Hole in the Ground, reminded me to The Babadook. It’s definitely two different specimens, but they both share a similar topic and approach: the haunting of dysfunctional parental challenge depicted as a low-key rural horror. On whatever sense, it’s as creepy.

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Review Us (2019)

Us is a proof that Jordan Peele’s such a storyteller. It’s like what Winston Duke’s character said: “a fucked-up performance art.”

After the highly inventive Get Out won Jordan Peele an Oscar in screenplay, the comedian-turned-director presents another high-concept horror, which once again brings out a truly cinematic experience, called Us. The new horror shares similar DNA as Get Out; but it’s not a follow-up, nor an expansion; it’s more like a soul sister lurking mysteriously from the dark to take audiences by surprise at a completely different manner as in Peele’s directorial debut.

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Review Sebelum Iblis Menjemput / May the Devil Take You (2018)

Sebelum Iblis Menjemput is the prodigal cousin of Evil Dead.

Timo Tjahjanto’s (half of The Mo Brothers) May the Devil Take You (originally titled ‘Sebelum Iblis Menjemput‘) is the prodigal cousin of Evil Dead who lives too far abroad that it gets tangled deeper in the hardcore nastiness of occultism. The nightmare it introduces might feel close and yet so far; but then, this bone-chilling and blood-gushing diabolical phantasmagoria is a guaranteed tough watch. It’s definitely not for the fainted heart; but, most definitely, it’s not for the pious heart.

Pedantic resemblances to its influence is inevitable, however, May the Devil Take You is bold enough to differ in all its nightmarish way. While it’s a cabin-in-the-wood story—only the cabin is changed into an abandoned resting villa (well, it’s a holiday cabin for Indonesians after all) with a ridiculously hard locked door to basement and a strange entity’s first-person POV as well, it’s not a groovy ordeal; it’s a pure horror that embraces every notion in Stephen King’s infamous quote, “nightmares exist out of logic.” Continue reading “Review Sebelum Iblis Menjemput / May the Devil Take You (2018)”

Review The Meg (2018)

As if bringing Statham diving back to the depth isn’t enough, The Meg plunges him into a mediocre B-movie party.

Movie review The Meg (2018): The Meg should be okay if it sticks for two purposes only. To highlight Jason Statham—recently has made quite a name as an action hero—in his diving tenure reunion is the first. To see that same Statham fights a colossal, prehistoric shark in the open ocean, both sides’ home ground, should be the second. The rest should be history. Alas it’s not a history we expect it to be. A series of historical meme is what it eventually deserves.

Fashioned as a pseudo sci-fi blockbuster (if there’s another sky above the sky, there should be another ocean under the ocean), The Meg unravels the beast right from the start to f*ck Jonas’ (Statham) rescue mission. There’s a few years gap between the opening and the ‘real story’; however, the focus gets back to Statham almost immediately when a deep sea research team is trapped in the bed of the ocean-under-ocean. The rescue mission apparently unleashes the Megalodon to the open water. For that, Statham’s Jonas must fight it before everybody on a tourist-laden beach becomes easy prey. Continue reading “Review The Meg (2018)”