Saturday, October 17, 2020

The Queen of Black Magic / Ratu Ilmu Hitam - 2020 Nightstream Film Festival Movie Review

The Movie: The Queen of Black Magic / Ratu Ilmu Hitam

The Director: Kimo Stamboel

The Cast: Ario Bayu, Hannah Al Rashid, Adhisty Zara, Ari Irham, Muzakki Ramdhan, Shenina Cinnamon, Giulio Parengkuan, Tanta Ginting, Miller Khan, Salvita Decorte, Imelda Therinne, Ade Firman Hakim, Sheila Dara Aisha, Ruth Marini, Yayu A.W. Unru, Putri Ayudya, Gisellma Firmansyah

The Story: An orphanage is home to some pretty dark secrets and, when former residents make a return visit, a reckoning of sorts begins to take shape.

The Review:
Holy crap, this movie is dark and brutal. Indonesian horror has a history of being really dark and steeped in folk lore, the type of stuff that can really scare the crap out of you. This movie is a combined effort from writer Joko Anwar who recently directed Impetigore and is a bit of a genre legend and director Kimo Stamboel who has been on the rise with recent hits Headshot and Dreadout.

One thing that was interesting to me is that the film makers had no problem putting kids into situations normally reserved for adults in this type of stuff and it goes a long way to showing how no one is safe from all the evil things that are happening. Normally, when you see that kids are in the movie, it's a pretty safe bet that the movie is going to be on the more tame side although this is definitely not the case here. That's not to say that you're going to see horrible things happen to kids, it's just that they're generally in just as much danger as anyone else.

Anwar fills his story with a lot of blood splattering scenarios and Stamboel brings it all to the screen with a very visceral that is especially effective when practical effects are used. There are a couple scenes that are clearly created with CGI and they feel a bit out of place compared to everything else in the movie. That being said, I feel like the overall look and feel of the movie is pretty much exactly what I expected it to be and almost all of it works very well.

The Queen of Black Magic is not for the feint of heart. This is the type of deep, dark horror that you won't find from Hollywood studios that's for sure. If you're down to go there, you'll enjoy the ride.

To see more reviews, interviews, and festival coverage please go to: TwoOhSix at Nightstream 2020.

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