for Cinetalk.net

Upon the death of their Matriarch, a family is confronted with spirits seemingly returning to claim the soul of one of their keen.

Joko Anwar (A Copy of my Mind, Ritual) does not reinvent the wheel with the ‘Reboot’ of  Sisworo Gautama Putra’ s 1982 film of Pengabdi Setan (Satan’s Slave) but he sure knows how to drive. He delivers an effective chiller that may not be up there with other haunting house horror classics like The Haunting (1963), Poltergeist (1982) or The Shining (1980), but stands above your average copycat.

There is a pretty well cooked recipe,  a quite successful ambition to make you jumpy, some fine acting for the genre (remarkable Tara Bastro as Rini), a good VS D-evil ‘Muslim Edition’ take (Arswendi Nasution replaces father Merrin), the music, passed the presence of your usual stingers designed to make you jump, is rather good and overall it’s technically more than capable with neat cinematography by Ical Tanjung.

Anwar’s ambition, leaning toward a minimalist screenplay approach, aiming mainly at providing a good scare, causes an overuse of trickery (Boo!) in order to get to its running mark of 103 minutes, but audiences do not care and it became a huge hit at home.

Fantasia screening: Tuesday, July 17th, 9:30 PM – Concordia University’s Hall Theatre

Official Fantasia Website

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