Tuesday, July 31, 2012
Director: Ian Jacobs, Cast: Garneta Haruni, Monique Henry, Dion Wiyoko, Vikri Rahmat , Ismi Melinda
"INDONESIAN HORROR AT ITS BEST!!!" screamed the cover blurb for Kuntilanak Beranak, a 2009 Indonesian film marketed under the English title Birth of the Vampire -- albeit by a U.S. distributor whose legal claim to the film is questionable at best. Nevertheless, if Kuntilanak Beranak is truly the best horror film that Indonesia has to offer, I'd hate to see the worst.
While I'll spending the next few paragraphs engaging in an extensive critique of the film, I have to admit up front that despite all the snark that might follow, I don't enjoy slagging off on a no-budget horror film. In fact, I really wanted it to be good. But the truth is there's hardly anything in this film that I can truly recommend. Although the film's budget certainly impacted what they could do visually, I know there are plenty of low and micro budget films out there that transcend their limitations to deliver an entertaining or compelling experience. Unfortunately, Kuntilanak Beranak isn't one of them. Without a clever script, an impressive visual style, or a strong cast, the whole production seems amateurish, especially when compared to other horror films from Southeast Asia.