It’s baaaack!!! I know your favorite Catgirl promised this review a while ago, but right after I ordered the Malay disc, I managed to finally find a copy of the original Indonesian release. Since I figured it would be a better disc, I naturally had to grab it as well. Especially since even ordering both set me back about the combined cost of a cup of coffee….. (Ah…. gotta love those amazing Asian DVD prices….)
Anyway, this gives me the chance to watch and compare them, and give you the whole lowdown on what I was hoping would be as cool and offbeat a film as the original. I’ve been eagerly awaiting this one for months and impatiently scouring the net for it in a subtitled form.
The English-challenged synopsis for it reads: “Kuntilanak 2 is the sequel of the first movie starring Julie Estelle. The story continues. Samantha (Julie Estelle) is more and more involve in her dark side. Meanwhile Mangkoedjiwo sect wants to get her to become their sect leader. Sam is struggling try to escape from the dark side. Together with Agung she fights back to Mangkoedjiwo sect.”
Are we in for a treat? Will Sam surrender to the intoxicating power of “The Chant”? Or is this one going to be a major league letdown for your Favorite Catgirl Princess? Let’s “Read On” and find out!!
So….when last we left our heroine, Sam, she had managed to defeat the Matriarch of the evil Mangkoedjiwo clan, rescue her boyfriend Agung, and escape the clutches of the evil Tree demon…. so everything should be good with her, right? Wrong…. sooo…sooo wrong.
When we start this one, we find that the old apartment building is now deserted, the scene of grisly murder and rumors. Of course this only makes it more of an attraction for curious kids on a dare…. In what is probably the best sequence of the film, three little kids sneak into the old mansion to play hide and seek, only to discover that the Kuntilanak is still very, very present. So much for smashing the Magic Mirrors….
Then we find Sam…. wandering alone in the rain, looking bedraggled and almost zombified. She gets picked up by a cabbie and gets driven to a deserted location to be robbed and raped…. his big mistake. Seems poor Sam has become almost nothing more than an empty husk for the Chant to dwell in. Let’s just say he loses his head over Sam in a biiiig way. After this, she finds her way to an apartment over an electronics store that she has rented from a family looking to make some extra cash by taking in a boarder. Their little daughter, Yenny, takes an immediate dislike to the creepy Sam…. seems she’s a bit sensitive to the supernatural vibes following Sam around like a cloud of perfume, but her parents ignore her and welcome her to their home anyway.
Cut to the meeting place of the Mangkoedjiwo sect, seems they’ve fallen on hard times. Without the Matriarch to whistle up the Kuntilanak for them to use, they have had to resort to good ol’ fashion crazy cult style murders to stay in business. But they know about Sam….. and they want to capture and control her for their own nefarious purposes…. they just have to find her. Here things start to go awry…. the plot starts to drift a bit making less and less sense, and the girl we empathized with in the first film is a stranger….and then there is the Kuntilanak itself….
In the first movie it was a creepy, albino female thing….. barely human with it’s Spiderman-like abilities to creep about and sneak up on you by becoming quieter and quieter as it got closer…. but all that is gone. Now it’s still albino…. still has the long hair, but has lost that neat ability sneak up by becoming silent…..and most inexplicably has taken to wearing hideous sun dresses like an old lady…. Huh? Say What? This demon is nowhere as scary as it was shown in the first film…. and the clothing only makes it look silly.
The film moves along… We find Agung…. but seems he’s not doing so well either. Appears he’s all traumatized by his experiences in the last film, and has broken up with Sam, locking himself in his apartment, popping pills and drinking heavily to dull the memories of the torture and the weirdness. It takes the murder of his only friend at the hands of the Kuntilanak to snap him out of his crazy state. He goes looking for Sam…. hoping to save her from the Chant before it eats up the girl he once loved forever.
Once they reunite, it’s off to find the Matriarch’s right hand girl…. seems she had a change of heart after the horrors of the first film, left the Sect and is currently in hiding fearing for her life. They do finally find her, and discover that the Chant is sorta like a mystical version of Herpes…. once you get it you pretty much are stuck with it, slowly getting to enjoy the power and the killings till you are no longer human anymore. But… there is a cure…. at some long forgotten village out in the boonies where the Grandmother of the clan still is rumored to survive. Unfortunately, they find all this out just in time for the first of the Sect killers arrive to finish off their errant member…. Sam defeats them by unleashing the Kuntilanak, but now the cult is hot on their heels. Eventually they and poor little Yenny get captured, seems her loving grandpa has been a crazy Cult member all along…taken out to the jungle, and Sam gets forced to summon up the Chant for them…. yet another big mistake…Agung gets beaten silly, taken out to the jungle, and dumped in a pit full of corpses….but wait!!
He’s not dead…. he climbs out, rushes back to save Sam…..and promptly gets stabbed to death. Guess he won’t be starring in “Kuntilanak 3”….. Still… this is enough to trigger Sam into releasing the Kuntilanak from the Spirit World for good. It promptly slaughters the Sect, and grabs Yenny away….. leaving Sam alone to confront the Spirit of her Mother….. Cue credits….. Say What?!?…. What about the lost village?….The “Cure”?……Where’s the REAL ending?….. Ummm, ahhhhh, apparently… there isn’t any!!!!
Yep…. not since “The Empire Strikes Back” have I felt sooooo ripped off. This movie, while technically well filmed, well acted, and a sequel to a really GOOD film, is just a filler….. None of this gets resolved until presumably “Kuntilanak 3” comes out….. AAAAUUUGHHH!!!
So…. I’m afraid to say, that this one is but a pale successor to the original so I can only give it 3 “Meows” out of 5 for being passably done, but hardly unique and scary like the original. Will this stop me from getting the next one when the DVD comes out? Probably not, but they better do a more acceptable job of wrapping things up if they want to please lil’ ol’ me…..
As to the discs… The Malay release is All Region, PAL formatted, with absolutely no extras… it does have separate english subs, but they aren’t accessible from a menu and are atrociously done, looking like they were extracted from the original Indonesian disc by somebody using a auto text sub extraction program…badly….. While understandable, they are really crappy and definitely don’t make the film more watchable. But for 6$US, the price is right for those on a budget.
The Indonesian disc is far superior, done as a Region 3 NTSC, with some Trailers, and the subs here are correct with accessibility from the title menu, and at about 10$US is a better bargain in my opinion.
Naturally, I’ve ferreted out a Trailer for you, to tide you over till “Kuntilanak 3” becomes available…Enjoy!!