Yep…. another Indonesian horror film has snuck on top of my stack of DVD’s waiting to be viewed, so who is this lil’ Catgirl to ignore it? Watching an evening of these is sometimes a tough job, but then some goofy movie lovin’ girl’s just gotta do it so that the rest of you you can just pick the cream of the crop to rot your brains on “movie night”. Hehehehe….
But seriously, I just can’t seem to get enough of these, even if the Indonesian film market is flooded with a virtual avalanche of derivative and stale ghost stories. So here we go. It’s “Kerata Hantu Manggarai” aka “The Ghost Train of Manggarai Station”
Our synopsis for it reads: “Rossa (Sheila Marcia) and Emily’s relationship as sisters is getting sour. Emily’s stubbornness makes Rossa lose her temper and kick Emily out of their house. Emily goes to her aunt in Bogor, and the two never cross paths again. Rossa tells her best friend Tari that she senses something wrong. She worries that Emily has been abducted by the ghost train or “Kereta Hantu”. Even though Rossa doesn’t believe it, she follows Tari to meet Bobby who can cross over to the supernatural world. Finally, Bobby and two others hunt the ghost train, with the guidance of Ki Anom, a man who deals with the supernatural. But in the ghost train, the ghost that haunts them starts killing them one by one.”
Sounds good…. so let’s all “Read On”, shall we?
So…. we start this one off with a simple premise, seen in a few other Asian horror films lately… the good old haunted train….. never a bad place to start. Our heroine, Rossa, has a problem. It’s her sister…. she a real bitch…. There really just isn’t any other nice way to put it. She’s rude, mean, and overly willing to do all the wrong things with the wrong guys. Worse… she’s her aunt’s favorite niece who can “do no wrong”…. You get the picture? Being Indonesia, this means poor Rossa gets the crappy job of watching out for her sister no matter what stupid crap she gets up to. Naturally this leads to poor Rossa just losing it and throwing her out of their apartment altogether. Wouldn’t be a bad thing, except that this forces Emily to return home via the “Haunted Train” from Manggarai Station and results in her disappearance. Yep…. this, according to her aunt, is ALSO poor Rossa’s fault. Jeeez… seems Rossa can’t catch a break.
While going the whole route of investigating, Rossa eventually hooks up with an Internet Ghostbuster by the name of Bobby, who has a similar problem. Seems his girlfriend disappeared too. He’s hooked up with one of Rossa’s friends, Tari and convinces Tari to accompany the entire gang of intrepid reporters while they do the whole “Scooby-Doo” thingee one evening and sneak aboard the Haunted Train thanks to some mighty mystic mojo cooked up by Ki Anom, a Supernaturalist Bobby keeps on consultation. Biiiiig mistake…..
Ki Anom warns them to take it easy…. no messing around while on board the Train… and under no circumstances are they to make any noise. Yeah… right…. like THAT’S gonna happen…. A lot of running around and screaming later, they manage to survive being trapped aboard forever only due to Ki Anom and his mighty magic.
After this, everybody starts getting haunted by the evil spirit of the witch that died in a train crash. Yep…. seems she feels the train and all aboard are hers to keep for eternity and she doesn’t like people trying to thwart her evil, evil plans. She starts messing up the Scooby gang but good, killing them all one by one. Worse….. she seems to be after poor Rossa too. Apparently her sister is STILL messing up Rossa’s life…. even from the Twilight Zone.
They manage to find Emily…. seems she escaped the Train by sheer dumb luck…. at least her body did. Her spirit is still stuck on board, and Bobby and Rossa have to go back to the Train to try to rescue her before it’s too late and her spirit is trapped there forever.
Let’s just say…. poor Rossa doesn’t get the guy. And her life doesn’t improve by rescuing her sister either. It’s just that kind of movie. You just have to take them as they come I guess.
Neko found “Kerata Hantu Manggarai” to be worth 3 “Meows” out of 5. It’s not an amazing film, and it does nothing new to distinguish itself from the pack of similar efforts out of Indonesia lately, but it is at least worth a watch if you like Indonesian movies. Or if you are a trash movie junkie like this lil’ kitten….. If you are lucky enough to encounter the 6$US Malay disc, I’d grab it just for a change of pace…. you could do far worse. It’s Region 3, and PAL formatted, but the subs are good, and it comes with a nice “Making Of” featurette (in Indonesian only, unfortunently…) but any extras are good. Still… I find myself wanting to encounter another Indonesian effort to rival “Kuntilanak”……. and I live in hope.
As always, there’s a Trailer, so here it is… fresh from Youtube. Enjoy!