Another of the multitude of crazy Indonesian discs that have flooded into my Mailbox lately, “Kesurupan” aka “Possessed” is one of the glut of horror films coming out of the Indonesian film industry these days. I’d meant to do the review for this one earlier, but lately your favorite Catgirl has been one busy… busy… busy kitten. Still… whenever there is still any energy left in my poor lil’ body after a hard day at work, the best medicine is always a relaxing evening with a couple of trashy asian movies… (and occasionally even a good one!)
Is “Kesurupan” such a movie? Or will Neko be dissapointed and cranky at work again after losing valuable nap time? Only the Spirits of Bad Movies know for sure….
…..And of course you as well, o’ Regular Readers. (assuming you continue to “Read On” that is…Hehehehe!!)
Anyway.. the synopsis for this one goes as follows:“Felina (Nia Ramadhani) and Alin (Shareefa Daanish), both 18 years old are two best friends who just about to enter into college. As college students, they have to join the campus orientation. Many incidents happened to Felina and Alin during the orientation.
Felina falls in love with Marik (Andhika Pratama), 21 years old handsome senior student. When they are on the next orientation that is held at Hutan Kayu Mati, Alin gets possessed. Alin and friends also get lost at a grave. Over here Alin takes a doll that looks scary and plays with it.
Then three roaming spirits at Hutan Kayu Mati penetrate into Alin’s body. At the beginning, Rusman can heal Alin. Rusman is a dumb man who is living in this forest. But when Alin gets back to Jakarta, she gets possessed again. Suddenly Alin’s face turns into an old man’s face. After that it turns again into a woman and a kid.
It makes Maya, Alin’s mother, Felina and Marik in panic.
Now Alin’s day is really terrifying. Sometimes, she looks normal. But in certain conditions, her face turns horrible and ready to attack everyone near her. Felina and some friends almost get killed when Alin gets possessed.
A supernatural man says that Alin has to get back to Hutan Kayu Mati to return the doll, so the spirit in her body can be freed. Felina, Marik and Alin then proceeds to Hutan Kayu Mati. There, they meet up with Rusman and Rusli. They say that everybody should go there at 12 am. They will find a big hole with the grave in it. They should put the doll to the same place before the sun rises. Then they follow what Rusman asked. They encounter many incidents that almost kill them.
After everything is done, they hug one another. They are really happy, since three spirits in Alin’s body have gone. But suddenly Alin’s voice changes. It means there’s still one spirit left in her body. Who is that spirit?”
So it’s another Indonesian horror film… and it starts out with that same old tired notion I’ve seen in about a dozen Asian horror films. The ol’ “College Freshman Hazing School Trip”…….. My goodness…. what is it about Indonesia, Malaysia, and Thailand that insists that college bound students have to take part in a ritualized mandatory holiday trip off to somewhere just so they can be psychologically and physically insulted, exploited, threatened with sexual abuse, and even lightly tortured? Are these people just gluttons for punishment? I mean there’s always a “Faculty Advisor” involved for all the good it does, but honestly I’ve seen Nazi Prisoner of War camps in movies that had more restraint than these kids usually show. Maybe I’ve seen just too many of these plots, but I’m really beginning to wonder how accurate the images are….. If any kind readers can give me some insight into this practice, it would be greatly appreciated. Maybe this one just isn’t passing properly through the ol’ “Cultural Movie Filter/ Translator” in my head……
Anyway…. nothing new happens here, except that this particular outing just happens to go to one of those haunted jungles where sensible Indonesians never, ever go. After one of the girls steals the creepy Voodoo dolly from a grave-site they stumble across, it’s time for a number of evil spirits to start possessing her and causing mayhem. The one off kilter thingee that got me giggling was the way that the cast instantly accepts the situation as absolutely real and how they immediately know exactly how to deal with it….. You find a local spirtualist and get him to work his mojo on the nasty things…
It seems to work. (Although naturally it doesn’t… Hehehehe!!) The girl gets sent home early… giving her best friend the perfect excuse to bail on the festivities….. Once home, the girl’s parents get told the story, possession and all, and automatically accept it as the truth!! Wow!!…. Neko’s gotta say, that sort of off handed belief in the weird and supernatural really speeds things up, no wasted time checking her for a brain tumor or getting her drug tested. She keeps having incidents….. and their solution is to tie her up until another Spiritualist can do his best to fix things. Tying her is useless….. she easily escapes, someone dies, and they catch her again. Their solution? Tie her up again…. which she escapes from.. again!! Someone else dies…. they catch her…. yet again. So what do they do? Yep…. tie her up. Anybody see the flaw in this plan? Nobody suggests upgrades to handcuffs or suggests sedating her or even bothers to have her committed to a sanitarium with those nifty padded cells. Guess these guys are big fans of the old theory of “Wash, rinse, and repeat”, which works great for soft manageable hair, but badly for restraining crazy possessed girls.
Eventually they go back to the jungle to find the source of the sprits… maybe to get help from the Spirit shaman guy there (and his crazy shapshifting brother who might be a human or a little piggy). This leads to a bloody climax in which nothing good happens to our heroes… trust me.
So then…. This one isn’t the most original film out there, and this lil’ Catgirl knew that going in…. but while it doesn’t exactly score big for creativity, it was a evenings easy entertainment and that’s never a bad thing. Would I have bought it if it was more than 10$ US? Probably not….
Neko-chan gives “Kesurupan” only 3 “Meows” out of 5…. but just barely. The thing that pushed it over to that for me was the very nifty and natural seeming way it portrays Indonesian belief in the Supernatural as a very real fact of life for them. It doesn’t feel hokey or forced… they come across as really believing in that world. Till now, only the best Thai films seemed to capture that for me…. Not a bad film… but not a great film either, it’s an effortless evening’s popcorn crunching entertainment that leaves you hungry for better.
Naturally, there’s a Trailer… there’s ALWAYS a Trailer….Hehehehe!!!