What is the story about?
Hanif (Ariyo Bayu), his wife Nadya (Hannah Al Rashid), and their three children are heading to the orphanage, located in a remote village, where the former grew up. The reason behind the visit isn’t just the reunion with his friends, but the ailing warden. Terror strike as Hanif accidentally hits a girl on the road and moves away, mistaking a dead deer on the roadside as a victim. The friends are indulged in celebration mode catching up, and they find a warm welcome from the habitants there until they experience supernatural encounters.
With the array of horror-supernatural tales relentlessly witnessed in plethora in recent years, the inherent thrills and chills that were prevalent once have faded. ‘The Queen of Black Magic’ is yet another flick of such paradigms. Horror filmmakers usually utilize the essence of silence in many places with the blind belief that sudden screams would infest the audiences with spine-shuddery impact. In contrast, such moments have found adverse results causing dopiness. It’s evident with the film, where we are dragged into the state of sleepiness only to be wakened back with some creepy shouts and sounds. With 90 minutes of running length, the first hour has nothing impressive to offer except the graphical representations of centipedes and caterpillars sneaking into the mouths of victims as a sign of the possession of spirits. The last 30 minutes offer some chills as we are pushed with excitement to get the mystery break open. Of course, there’s an emotional concurrence involved with the spirit of vengeance, but still, they don’t look like a takeaway.
Muzakki Ramdhan is the cynosure of our eyes throughout the film. His cuteness and curiosities with spontaneous performance are appreciable. The director places this character as a reflection of audiences, who indeed are looking forward to unravelling the mystery. Ario Bayu, Hannal Al Rashid, and others have done a decent job, but not to the best. Naturally, when the screenwriting is bleak, it doesn’t offer the scope to perform. So nothing to blame the artistes: but the writers.
Music & Other Departments
Director Kimo Stamboel has attempted creating ‘Goosebumps’ moments without spending more budget on the CG works. But instead, he has managed to make sure that there is a groovy effect with the visuals. The cinematographer deserves special mention, and so the sound department. The lighting works are appreciable that keeps the eerie and mysterious ambient alive.
The last 30 minutes are somewhat engaging. The performance by little boy Muzakki Ramdhan and cinematography are the cherry-picks.
As mentioned earlier, the storyline confines to a time-worn concept and the thrills-chills factors are missing.
Did I enjoy it?
By the initial 15 minutes, I felt assured with some expectations of watching a good show, but eventually, they got eclipsed with the drowsy moments later.
Do I recommend it?
There’s nothing exceptional about the film as it blatantly looks like an amalgamation of many films of its respective genre.