Sigh…… Another lonely weekend at home, another couple of cheesy horror films in the ol’ DVD player…. This time out your Favorite Catgirl Princess is bringing you another of those Indonesian Ghost stories I just keep watching for some unknown reason….Hehehehe!! Anyway, our film for today, “Tiren Mati Kemaren” aka “Died Yesterday” comes direct to me by way of the Malay Region 3 PAL release.
The synopsis reads as follows:“Ranti (Dewi Persik) is suddenly found murdered under a cloud of mystery. Hendra (Baron Hermanto), her father, becomes very upset and vows vengeance. During the burial ceremony, Hendra purposely keeps Ranti’s corpse string, intending to summon Ranti’s spirit to find the murderer. As a result, Ranti’s spirit truly angered spirit and creates a disturbance.
The first victim that is visited by Ranti’s spirit is her husband, Leo (Renee The). When Ranti was alive, she once caught Leo having an affair with her only friend, Maya (Deriell Jacqueline).
After, Ranti changes into a beautiful woman and teases Reno (Aldi Taher), Maya’s husband. Reno is powerless against Ranti’s seduction and gets involved in an affair with her spirit.
What happens afterwards will be scarier than your worst nightmares…”
Sounds like another of our standard “Revenge Strikes From Beyond the Grave” sorts of plots…. Will it meet with this lil’ Kitten’s hopeful expectations and bring on the goosebumps or will it just plain stink as bad as a three day old corpse left out in the sun? Let’s all “Read On” and find out, shall we?
We start this one off with your typical doofy looking Indonesian guy who thinks he’s struck it lucky to encounter a sexy girl out by a cemetery who’s obviously looking for a good time… and she wastes no time teasing him with the ol’ “I’ve got to pee sooooo bad… no peeking!!” bit. Pee? In a cemetery? Yep… and here this lil Catgirl had thought Thai movies had cornered the market on tastless humor….
Anyway… before anything more titillating and risque than some peeping goes on, the girl tells our hapless fool her name… Tiren…. and then her eyes go all black and our dumb voyuer goes screaming off into the night.
So what the heck is happening? Seems “Tiren” is actually Ranti (played by Indo pop star Dewi Perssik from “Tali Pocong Perawan”, which I reviewed a while back here at the Litterbox”) and it seems she’s become the ghost because of some mix-up during her burial which ended up with her having to be placed in the wrong grave. But that’s not the real problem here…. seems poor Ranti was accidentally killed by a fall down a flight of stairs and her grieving father has decided that he’s going to trap her spirit and set it on a supernatural quest for vengeance against those responsible for her death.
While this is a nice premise… and the folklore stuff is truly new and interesting, this is also the source of the greatest flaw in the plot as well. You see… the people responsible for Ranti’s death are her husband Leo, and the married woman Maya whom he was cheating on Ranti with. She walked in on them during a hot sexy interlude and dies running away from the scene in tears. It’s an accident…. but Leo and Maya figure they have to do the ol’ “dispose of the body out in the woods so nobody will know about our affair” thing. They botch it…. of course… almost getting caught by a random police checkpoint and then just dumping the body in the grass alongside the road….
The body gets found… that much is evidenced by her funeral and burial….. but then absolutely no police investigation occurs at all…. none… nada. SAY WHAT? You’d think the police would want to show up and ask Leo some sort of questions… you’d think Leo would turn up at Ranti’s funeral if only to allay any lingering suspicions…. but nope. Nothing that would make any such sense occurs here at all. This stupid lapse in reality destroys the overall plot and unfortunately makes “Tiren Mati Kemaren” just a lame excuse for a horror film. Sigh…. and that’s a shame, because there was a lot of nice possibilities here.
Neko-chan was truly intrigued by the idea behind the spirit. Remember how they bury people in Indonesia in those creepy white burial shrouds? Yes…yes…. those ones the pocong is always floating around dressed in…. Well, it seems that along with the magical possibilities that string used to tie them up with had in “Tali Pocong Perawan”, here we learn something new. Seems you only leave the string tied up until the burial. You are supposed to untie it to let the spirit pass on to heaven. If you leave it tied…. Well then the spirit remains trapped in the corpse and can become an angry pocong spirt/ thingee. Ranti’s father does just that…. to see that his daughter can avenge the wrong done to her…. although this does seem like an awfully cruel thing for a loving father to do to his daughter. Turning her into a horny slut of a ghost and sending her out to seduce and kill. Brrrrr!!!
There isn’t even that much of a story to make a complete movie here either… To pad things out so that we could get even an 80 minute running time, we get some stupid comedy filler plot about these idiot gravediggers and their run ins with the ghost “Tiren”… which Ranti seems to do double duty filling in for at times…. Most of this stuff is just plain not humorous at all. I realize most of the jokes completely slipped right over my head, but honestly what I could grasp of them made the most lowbrow Thai horror comedy seem like Shakespeare by comparison.
So how about the ghost action? Well… it’s understated of course, as with many Indonesian or Malay efforts…. the gore factor is kept to a minimum as always. Now that doesn’t mean the scares can’t be any good, but it does mean you have to work harder as a film if you want to pull it off. Unfortunately that’s just not the case here. Again…. lots of nice touches…. I liked the idea that having sex with the spirit of Ranti makes the victim slowly take on the characteristics of a corpse… the loss of hair, the appearance of odd bruising and the terrible smell as their body begins to decay while they are still alive. That was a really creepy notion. The simplistic visual effect of her eyes going black as her existence as a ghost is revealed… simple but very nicely done. I even found the small bits about Indonesian funeral and burial practices truly interesting. No coffins…. who’d have thunk it?
The acting here is… well…. what might be expected given the disappointing plot. Basically I get the sense this was mostly a film to showcase Dewi Perssik as a sexpot… that and to make a quick buck. However it’s her co-star Derriell Jacqueline as Maya who gets all the shower scenes and risque bits…. Again, you must remember that this is an Indonesian film… so Neko wants all you naughty guys out there to cool yourselves down, this is most definitely not the explicit and gratuitous stuff you’ll get in other Asian efforts. Not that any of you buy your horror films for that sort of cheap thrill….. Hehehehe!!
So…. what’s my ultimate opinion of this one? Well…. let’s just say, this lil Catgirl is ever so glad these Malay discs are ridiculously cheap to buy…. I have to give “Tiren Mati Kemaren” 2 grudging “Meows” out of 5… and mostly that last “Meow” was strictly given for the few neat bits of Indonesian folklore lost in the clueless plot here. O’ “Kuntilanak”…. where is the Indonesian film to rival your creepy thrills? Neko-chan soooo wants to see another like you…..
Is there a Trailer? You bet there is… and this lil’ Catgirl’s gonna fix it up for ya right now.