I Watched Three Indonesian Horror Film This Week, So You Don’t Have to (Or You Should)

I’ve spent 4+ hours this week watching three Indonesian horror films. The films are Rasuk (2018), Rasuk 2 (2020) and Alas Pati: Hutan Mati (2018). It was not quite a good experience, well horror films anyway. But what I mean is that the experience of being terrified or pleased by the quality from the films wasn’t there. (Except for Rasuk 2)

Rasuk (2018)

(Image: Dee Company / MD Pictures)

“During a vacation at a villa with her three friends, a resentful woman plunges deep into the depths of hate when dark forces try to overtake her life.”

IMDB synopsys

As you can read from the synopsys, the story revolved around Langgir — our main character and best friends. They called themselves Putri Sejagat. Unfortunately there was no in-depth story about their “Putri Sejagat relationship”. So, it was just like friends from uni or something. 

By the way, “rasuk” means posses. So, it’s a film about a person or people being possessed by supernatural things. The next installment will be about the same too. But with a different concept of possession.

[Spoilers ahead!]

Toward the end of the film, we had a “go home you’re drunk” moment. Didn’t the girls go to the villa around 2 hours driving from Lintang’s (the crazy rich one) house? So why did Linggar just casually go home to annihilate her family? Even made a stop to kill one person who wanted to buy her late father’s house. To make it worse, their friends and co. tried to catch up with her with a car! Damn she must be a Supergirl who can fly or anything that can teleport or something.

Maybe the story was altered somehow. As far as I know this film is adapted from a book with the same title. So, the book might have much more sense plotlines.

Rasuk 2 (2020)

(Image: Blue Water Films / Dee Company / MD Pictures)

“Isabella experienced something in the autopsy room when dissecting a female body that came without identity. It changed all the views of her life.”

IMDB synopsys

Looking at the title, you can guess that this is a second installment of the first — Rasuk (2018). This is the only film that I recommend you to watch. 

The film is the most “good looking” one out of all three. Cinematographically speaking, things like colour grading, framing, picture and sound quality, etc are great. Thanks to Rizal Mantovani (as a director) I guess. 

Acting wise is also great. (Isa)bella who thought that she had a mental illness. Radja the abusive-psychopath guy. Even the ghosts aren’t cheesy. 

My only criticisms are just two: Untapped love story on the flat where the characters live; And characters’ significances in the film. 

[Spoilers ahead!]

Bella — our main character had a love interest with Radja. He is a guy living across her room on the flat. The relationship was good, the romance started to grow and everything. But here we had Bella’s friend — Nesya. Sad to say, Nesya also liked Radja.

The conflict was just Nesya looking at Radja and Bella with jealousy. Then started talking about it with Alma, the other friend who lived in the same flat. That was it. No significance with the plot whatsoever. 

Alas Pati: Hutan Mati (2018)

(Image: MD Pictures / Pichouse Films)

“For fame, Raya and his friends came to the haunted area. When making videos, one of them died. They decided to flee but the ghost is coming with them.”

IMDB synopsys:

‘Alas’ means forest or jungle in Javanese. Here Raya and his friends tried to make some videos there, in Alas Pati, an imaginative forest in Central/East Java . They seem to know what they are doing until you see Rendy — the camera guy just holding his DSLR with just hands. No monopod, tripod, or any other way to stabilise the camera. Bet his arms are as steady as a chicken neck. 

[Spoilers ahead!]

Looking at how the setting was shown, it was obviously in Jakarta — western part of Java. The city where they lived and studied. So, how did they go to Alas Pati, Central/East Java there, then come back like it was just an hour drive? Even they needed to use a boat to go to the area. Or they casually just went to their own place with blood all over their faces and clothes. Like it happened in the backyard.

On Google Maps, Jakarta to Central Java/East Java is about 7-14 hours drive. Don’t believe me? Check yourself with Google’s, Apple’s,  OpenStreet’s or any maps you prefer.

And don’t even start me with random characters who appeared to be of no significance to the story. But they seemed like they did.

Even though there’s no logic in supranatural or anything like it, please just make us believe with the plotlines. From point A to point B. From story X to story Y. As simple as that. Or not.

For an example at the beginning of Rasuk, Linggar — our main character, lost her father in an accident. He tried to take a trophy dropped by Linggar on the street. Suddenly a bus/truck crashed into him. 

It was okay, believe me. Unless the film made a silly scene where Linggar’s father was celebrating while holding the trophy in the middle of the street. With no awareness of his surroundings. 

This is one aspect of typical Indonesian films among other things that I think can be improved. So, to Indonesian directors, producers, writers or any other roles involved in films, make us believe your story please. 

Well, it’s not fair to expect all of the films to be made by Joko Anwar anyway.

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