Impetigore

True horror fans know that the best quality films come from the Eastern part of the globe. Hollywood has tried time and time again to remake Asian horror films to no avail. Or rarely to the same calibre as the originals. Here is to hoping that they leave this Indonesian film directed by Joko Anwar alone.

Impetigore was a 2020 Sundance Offical Selection film. That is where the momentum for it began to build. Now Shudder has picked it up, so that gives us in this part of the world the chance to experience it. I say experience on purpose. This is not a film you just watch; it is something you are going to feel. With your heart pounding when it is not in your throat and your stomach in knots due to the tension, this is a film which will evoke a visceral reaction from those who watch it.

Not having a great time of late, Maya (Tara Basro – Gundala, Killers) has just narrowly escaped being killed in the city, so she decides it is time for a little get away. This coincides with her discovering that she might be inheriting a house from her rich family. The house is located in the family’s ancestral village.

Maya, along with her friend Dini (Marissa Anita – Eggnold: Love & Time Portal), heads to the property. Impressed by the size of the house, Maya begins to think of a different kind of future. What she does not realize then is that there is danger here for her.

The residents of the village have actually be looking for Maya. Not to say hi or make friends, rather to kill her. They believe that the village has been under a curse for years and only Maya’s death will lift it.

Watching the film it becomes crystal clear very quickly that Anwar is a fan of the horror-thriller films of yore. Ones like we do not make very often anymore. The slasher films which incorporate a supernatural element to make it all that much more scary. Impetigore (I really love the title!) plays like an ode to those types of film. Yet Anwar is talented enough to make this a totally modern film at the same time.

A couple of years back when I saw my first Anwar film, “Satan’s Slaves”, I was blown away. It was so simple yet so scary. Nothing in the film was the usual cop out tropes which horror films often fall into. With this follow up, he is certainly one of the strongest young directorial voices to come out of the genre in a while.

This film is dark and sinister. Totally creepy atmosphere often. You might lose some fingernails watching it as you nervously bite them off or embed them in the chair arm.

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