A new week, another day off, and another review!! This time out a quick look at one of the horde of Indonesian horror films currently teetering precariously on top of my “To watch” pile next to the DVD player. I swear…. at the rate new stuff arrives at the apartment, I’ll be buried before long.
Our quick synopsis goes like this: “A young gentleman called Putra (played by Restu Sinaga) marries Amira (played by Indah Kalalo) and would like to give the best honeymoon experience for his wife in his privately owned island. However, strange ghostly incidents are haunting them as a newly wed couple.
From an exotic bedroom to a swimming pool filled with excitement to their romantic bathroom and in every corner of the island, a female ghost dressed in a wedding gown is seeking blood debt from the couple.
A dark secret is waiting to be revealed, changing their romantic night into a scary encounter with the ghost. Who is the ghost and why is she terrorizing them?”
Yep…. this sounds pretty much like your standard Indonesian horror effort. It’s been a while since one really wowed me…. is this one gonna be one of those amazing hidden gems your Favorite Cargirl occasionally encounters? Maybe yes…. maybe no. Am I still gonna watch the goofy thing? Yeah….
Guess you’ll just have to stick with me and see how this one stacks up. (C’mon!!…. it’s not like you don’t wanna!! Neko knows you all too well. Hehehehe!!)
So surrender to your secret needs and “Read On”!!
Alrighty then…. This one starts out promisingly enough. A dark and stormy night…. a honeymoon couple enjoying a sexy romantic interlude by candlelight. What could possibly go wrong here? Well… this is an Indonesian ghost story after all….. so, of course, just about everything. After the sweaty intimacies, our happy bride lingers in bed toying with her necklace, obviously a token of love from her dear husband. Hubby, meanwhile, goes off to the bathroom and then only a panicked scream and the sound of breaking glass later, our poor girl is off running for her life clad only in a silky sheet, pursued by an terrible unknown something through the rain until finally it catches her and causes her to fall into a muddy pit to her death, impaled upon a big ol’ stake….. Ouch!!
There you go. Simple and to the point. If only the rest of our movie followed this formula…. Instead, unfortunately, much of this film’s short run time is taken up with a superfluous comedy subplot filler to at least let it be 70 minutes long or so. Worse even… the subplot is… well…. downright repulsive to boot. But more on that in a moment…..
First off we meet newlyweds Amira and her rich husband Putra on his speedboat off for a romantic honeymoon getaway to his private island. Yep… the same island where we just witnessed that horrible opening scene. They are both wealthy… attractive… and seemingly perfect for one another in both a personal as well as business fashion. Their two companies are on the verge of a merger… just as soon as the honeymoon is over and it’s back to business and the real world for them both. For now… it’s time for fun in the sun and all the naughty bedroom fun they can cram into their holiday. Everything seems perfect.. right? Well… it’s still a horror movie… don’t forget that.
Once there, we get introduced to Putra’s household staff…. his tough, capable right hand man Yogi, his shy and suspiciously scared looking son, and the two slimy guys I mentioned earlier… his cook and head of security. These two waste much of the next 40 minutes or so in a prolonged contest to see which of them will be able to peep on their boss’s sexy new wife and masturbate. Yep…. sometimes both at the same time… sometimes all by themselves with a stolen picture of her in a bikini…. Ewwwwhhh!!! The first time is merely annoying… but the constant repeat of this idea become pretty sickening…. Thank goodness the ghost shows up and kills them both around the end of the first hour. (After that, either Carolyn or I would probably have begged for the chance to waste them ourselves.) I’m not really a prude or anything, but I found this subplot fairly tasteless and especially surprising given the ridiculous “Mosaic blurring” done to obscure slightly risky bits on near nudity at times throughout the film. It struck both of us as odd that blunt humor about two repulsive guys masturbating constantly would be allowed, while the view of a woman’s nipples barely seen through wet cloth for a split second or so would be troublesome. But I guess that’s Indonesian sensibilities for you…..
All that filler leaves very little time for the actual plot to get going. Eventually we learn that the woman we saw in the beginning was Putra’s first wife Lydia… and that she died tragically on their honeymoon after the ghost of her grandmother attacked them for reasons unknown. Amira spends her time dodging the wedding dress-wearing spirit as well…. is it angry with her for marrying Putra? Or is their some other problem yet to be revealed? Is it the Grandmother…. or is it Lydia herself?
With less than 20 minutes of film to go, they can’t really waste a lot of time on character development or plot, so lets just say that the spirit isn’t out to hurt Amira… far from it. The ghost of poor Lydia is actually trying it’s best to protect her… first from those two bozos….. and then from her dear devoted husband. Yep, this one turns out to be one of those movies where the evil husband marries then kills his new bride all to steal her wealth for himself. He did it with Lydia, and now he’s out to increase his holdings by absorbing Amira’s company and then letting her “disappear” like his poor first wife.
Eventually we get a repeat of the beginning sequence… but this time, thanks to the intervention of the shy young son of evil manservant Yogi and the angry spirit of Lydia, it’s ends up being Putra who ultimately ends up on the wrong end of the pointy stake. Good riddance!!
So… how do I rate this one? Well… Indah Kalalo does a decent job as our heroine. She’s pretty, vulnerable, and believable as Amira with good chemistry with her leading man. The story itself is nothing special…. having the feel of an old english gothic novel….. but that whole repulsive comedy subplot just about sinks this one for me. Maybe it’s just because I’m a woman, but I was really turned off by the whole thing. It might have been meant to be risque and funny but it fails miserably. Let’s have more potty jokes next time…. those are soooo much better.
Neko can only give this one 2 pathetic “Meows” out of 5….. It’s just not a good film, and is dragged waaay down by that subplot. Hopefully I’ll have better luck next time an Indonesian film slips into the ol’ DVD player….. At least I can hope so…
Trailer? Naturally there’s a Trailer… and as always I leave you with a quick look for yourselves!!