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MACABRE Movie Review

In 2009 Indonesian filmmakers Kimo Stamboel and Timo Tjahjanto made an entertaining concoction of Eastern traditional horror and Western slasher sensibilities that up until now hasn’t gotten much exposure here in the United States. Thanks to Bloody Disgusting and The Collective we are getting a limited edition DVD on November 5th. I’m not familiar with the other work of Kimo Stamboel but as far as Timo Tjahjanto is concerned, I was impressed with his L is for Libido short in The ABC’s Of Death and blown the hell away with Save Haven, his collaboration with Gareth Evans in V/H/S 2.

Macabre doesn’t try to reinvent the genre in any way, but what it does well is offer a hyper-frenzy pace that never lets up and a unique chaotic and gritty style that grounds the absurdities that rise as events unfold. Dara is based on a character from a previous short film and all of the mythology that is hinted, revolves around her. The typical setup offers a group of friends headed on a road trip to new beginnings in Jakarta as the couple who are awaiting child dream hopefully of life in Australia. They meet an attractive hitchhiker, supposedly mugged on the siude of the road and are led to an isolated house where the thrills are waiting to get started. The film excels beyond it’s clichés by it’s fast-paced delivery and there is no attempt to provoke or stimulate your thoughts, only feed off your bare primal instincts.

The immortal cult family are flesh starved maniacs with no personalities to make you root for them, so the victims are dimensional enough to gain your sympathy and hopes for their unlikely escape. Ironically the male victims are very much helpless and scared compared to their female companions who are dominantly confident in comparison and manage to attempt fighting their way through every disastrous situation. Without the annoyance of unnecessary exposition getting in the way of the adrenaline, we are greeted with an unrestrained trip through menacing filth and gore-soaked galore. If this was my first experience with the work of Timo Tjahjanto, I wouldn’t reallyu have thought much about him. However, after seeing what he did after the fact, I can see where a lot of his ideas came from and wait to see what this talent comes up with next.

Macabre 1

The DVD from Bloody Disgusting offers Dolby 5.1 or 2.0 audio, four deleted scenes and a short but insightful making of feature. For those looking for sheer exercise in blood-letting mayhem based in fun intentions and light on the philosophical trimmings then this could very well make your night. Stay tuned for details on how to win Macabre on DVD this week.

Watch the trailer below:

The Author

Sean McClannahan

Sean McClannahan

Sean McClannahan is a freelance film journalist and is the founder of Movie Time And Beyond. His passion for movies and pop culture knows no limits.

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