Monday, July 17, 2017

Film Review: Macabre (2009)

Macabre (Review)
Indonesia/2009
Format Viewed For Review: Shudder
Netflix Streaming: No
Amazon Prime: No

"...a simple, suspenseful, and bloody movie."

A group of friends are lured into an ominous villa owned by a woman named Dara and her peculiar family.

In terms of plot, Macabre is a very simple film. The story follows newlyweds Adjie and Astrid (Sigi Wimala), Adije's sister, Ladya (Julie Estelle), and their friends Alam, Eko, and Jimmy. On their way to the airport, they pick up a woman who asks for a lift to her home. They take her home and they're invited into her house for a special dinner of gratitude. At the house, they meet Dara, the owner. Before they know it, the group of friends are knocked out and, when they awaken, they are brutalized. The rest of the film essentially follows the characters as they try to escape the house. There are some interesting ideas surrounding Dara and her family, but it never truly develops them. So, what you see is what you get. It can be a bit disappointing, but it ultimately works. It leads to a bloody, albeit predictable, ending.


Macabre reminds me of films like Frontier(s), but with less buildup and character. It's very similar in concept: a group of friends end up in a secluded house, things turn out to be not what they seem, and the friends are tortured while fighting for survival. If you're a fan of bloody horror films like Frontier(s), even with a lack of deeper themes, I think you'll enjoy Macabre. This is a simple, suspenseful, and bloody movie. A few of the scenes even caught me off guard. Its barebones story also means it's easy to watch, so it's an excellent time-killer. The simplicity of the plot isn't its only issue, though. This movie is also painfully contrived at times. Characters can act very foolishly simply to move the plot forward, which comes off as frustrating and lazy.

The acting was good, though. Julie Estelle performed well as the leading lady. Sigi Wimala was also great. The supporting cast, although occasionally generic, also delivered decent supporting performances. The film was shot well. I liked the gloomy style, especially as the blood started to paint the walls and floors red. The music doesn't have a strong presence, but I remembered it blended well with the rest of the film. The movies was written and directed by the Mo Brothers. Although the characters could use more depth, the plot works—it serves it purpose. The Mo Brothers know how to create suspense while painting a vibrant portrait of mayhem, too.

Overall, Macabre is a very good horror movie. If you're a fan of movies like Frontier(s) or The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, especially the remake of the latter, I think you'll enjoy this one. It's not a visceral experience, like the original Texas Chainsaw Massacre, but it is a bloody treat for gore-hounds.

Score: 7/10
Parental Guide: Strong violence and gore.

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