Film Review: Impetigore (2020)

  • Director: Joko Anwar
  • Writer: Joko Anwar
  • Stars: Tara Basro, Ario Bayu, Marissa Anita

Review

Joko Anwar (Satan’s Slaves) is back with Impetigore. Another trip to the supernatural, rural Indonesia and yet again, Anwar delivers.

Maya (Basro) learns that she may inherit a house in her ancestral village. Along friend Dini (Anita), Maya returns to the village of her birth and slowly finds out the secrets of the village, that could put her in danger.

Anwar has a way of getting under your skin.  Whether it is ghostly flashes, visceral shocks or simply an open door looking into darkness, he finds a way into your psyche. Playing with shadows and light in a way that keeps you checking the dark corners of the screen for the next scare to come.

Basro and Anita make a great on screen pair. Anita as Dini is laugh out loud funny whilst Basro as Maya is in the ‘straight (wo)man, a role that requires her to have a seriousness about her, that is great foil for Dini’s quips. The film doesn’t have a bad performance amongst any of the actors, which gives the film a natural feel to a far out story.

Impetigore deals with some pretty heavy material, a lot of it involving pregnancy and birth. Anwar does not shy away from this material, he doesn’t spare audiences the gruesome and macbre. The film has a mix of practical and digital effects, which is works alright except I feel using the practical effects all the way through would have given some of the scenes extra punch.

Despite some plotting issues and a weak way to insert some exposition, Impetigore is another success for Anwar. A bonfide talent and it’s exciting to see what he comes up with next.

Impetigore is available on Shudder

Ryan Morrissey-Smith | Twitter: @TigersMS78

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