Horor movies was proven to be one of the best genre when it comes to box office and provits. Over the years in Hollywood we watched some of the good flicks such as paranormal activity, insidious, the blairwitch project etc. So is Indonesian horror. They’ve proven to be great when it comes to generating money, but the quality? Not so much. I mean, Indonesian horror was filled with softcore terrible sexy heroine in their movies or even combine it with comedy which makes it worst and hard to watch.
If you’re Indonesian, you know the horror genre oftenly missed by the audience because the quality is so bad. I do mean really really bad. Although Indonesia is one of the country where we could found a wide range variety of ghosts, we haven’t watched a great Indonesian horror movies recently. In early 2000’s, there’s Tusuk Jalangkung and it’s super scary. But 2010’s not many horrors got our attention that much.
But Satan’s Slave, or Pengabdi Setan surprisingly generated a very huge hype with the audience last year. To be honest I’m not a fan of horror movies because I never feel so scared in the theatres while watching it. At best, I felt kinda surprised when the jumpscare comes. But when it comes to this movie, it sounds pretty promising. It was made by Joko Anwar, and the trailer looks fantastic for Indonesian horror flicks.
This movie is a remake of the 1980’s movie with the same name which was a pretty great cult horror Indonesian movies. It tells a story about a downfall of the family in 1980’s. The Mom who used to be a singer suffered a very mysterious ill for three years and finally died. As a result, the family live in debt and now they live in grandma’s house. One day the ghost of their mom comes to their family and things started to build up from there. Later in the movie we discovered that the mom has joined a cult and involved with a very dangerous people.
The story is pretty great and it’s quite unexpected. Watching this movie is like entering a haunted house and get out with a smile on your face. You’ve already seen the ghost inside the house and once you get out from there all you wanted to do is to brag with your friends how cool that was. Okay, maybe not a great example to sum this movie. But honestly, that’s what I feel.
Joko Anwar is a great director, and when you watched his movies recently, you can tell that he really wanted to make a this kinda movies. Halfworlds in HBO, Modus Anomali, Pintu Terlarang, now Satan’s Slave. You can tell that he really belongs to make this movie. It’s like you’ve taste a pizza from pizza specialist. It taste really good because the chef really loves pizza and you can taste every passion in each and every bite. Same thing goes with this movie.
I can easily tell that he really enjoy making this movie. The acting was great, and one of my favorites is the ghost in this movie. At the climax near the end, we can watch the hous was invaded by them and it was super cool. The only thing I hate is how short the sequence was. I mean I really enjoy it and I really wanted more. It’s like I ride a roller coaster, but once it ends, I wanted to ride it again with a higher speed or higher more extreme tracks.
This movie doesn’t just rely on jumscares, but also explores the mythology and the Indonesian ghost with a mix from fresh perspective which makes it more engaging to watch. I’m not saying that this was the greatest horror movies ever made, but I’m saying this is a movie worth to watch. It’s not perfect and you can spot a few drawbacks here and there. But for Indonesian horror movies, it’s a good step since we didn’t watch so many movies like this.
At the end of the day you may ask didn’t this movie scarier than the original? Maybe not. Didn’t it sticks to the original storyline? Maybe not. But let’s be real here, why bother to make it like that if you can make it your own? And I think that’s what Joko Anwar did. And he did it really good. I think he would do a sequel out of this and that’s what I really wanted to see. So let’s wait and see that happen soon!