Director: The Mo Brothers
Stars: Shareefa Daanish, Julie Estelle, Ario Bayu
Macabre by name…
I’d never seen an Indonesian film before I watched this, and the last film I’d expect from there is some gory horror film as I know they’re a very conservative country who even reject Lady Gaga! Macabre is much more sickening than Gaga. The formula has been used many times before but to me it’s far from tired. I love horror films that take place in a house run by a demented, murdering family. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and Frontiers come to mind (both are favourites of mine) and Macabre offers quite an impressive and thrilling spin! We’ve all heard the story before, but a lot of films tend to get it very wrong, focusing on way too much exposition before getting down to the horror. Macabre gets down to it quite quickly, giving us an interesting half hour build up before all hell breaks loose! The great thing about Macabre is that it is never boring, there is always something going on very much like the remake of Mother’s Day. One big problem with Macabre is that it’s over-populated with way too many characters who all look very similar, or don’t really have much character to them. Macabre lacks the character development that is needed in the slasher department, however that’s not to say that aren’t some character’s to root for.
At one point the film becomes so over-populated it’s nay on impossible to tell what’s going on! However, part of Macabre’s entertainment value lies in its chaos. Make no mistake, Macabre is an extremely solid and very re-watchable horror film that would be perfect for those nights where you have a little party! It’s a non-stop roller-coaster ride which serves up some extremely nasty treats. The character of Dara is memorably creepy and she’s certainly a person you would not like to mess with. Her wide eyes, scraped-back hair and slow mechanical voice makes her a fantastic villain and one that you’re not likely to forget.
Another great thing about Macabre is that it has a very similar idea to blood and gore as French horror. That means it doesn’t hold back! I think every scene features some pretty horrific gore which all adds to the entertainment and thrills. There are some really great practical effects, and inventive kills that should have horror fans drooling at the mouth. Macabre has been likened to Inside but I personally don’t see that, other than there being a pregnant character in both films, and both showing a liberal idea to the use of blood, Macabre is much more Frontiers-esque. However, I don’t think that Macabre is up to Frontiers’ perfection.
Frontiers exceeds in every way possible. Through the directing, writing, character development, music and editing. Whilst Macabre is pretty solid on the writing front some of the directing is slightly off-key, although most of the time it’s pretty impressive with the Mo Brothers being sure not to film the action too shaky or too close so we can’t see what the hell is going on! Macabre is quite choppy on the editing front and some of the lighting is also quite amateurish. However, I don’t want to dwell too much on the negatives because this is actually a really good film and one which I enjoyed very much.
Whilst Macabre may not be the horror masterpiece the trailer would suggest it still serves up some hardcore horror thrills that makes a good substitute for French horror. It’s way better than most American stuff to come out and is never boring. In fact, I would’ve liked to have seen even more! The ending is creepy and the supernatural ideas also add an original and quite disturbing quality to the film. My only real gripe is that I bought the UK version and it might just be my DVD but it seemed incredibly blotchy to me, making the blacks appear more greyish-blue than black, which is a shame with the film spending the majority of the time in the dark! It kind of spoilt the experience for me. Hopefully the film will get a well deserved wider release with a better transfer. Highly recommend to all you horror lovers!