Friday, January 24, 2014
In this Indonesian slasher-y flick, a group of friends give a stranger a ride home, accept her offer to come inside... and of course find out that her family is a bunch of crazed cannibals.
Macabre co-director Timo Tjahjanto was on my radar for directing a not very good but memorably gross segment in ABCs of Death and for co-directing the only good part of VHS2. Macabre is, in story and structure, an unremarkable Texas Chain Saw-y slasher movie, but it's pretty darn effective nonetheless. It's slickly shot but does not hold back on the gruesome violence, contains several effective set pieces, has a sort of brutal knock-down-drag-out spirit to it, and gives the heroes and villains enough personality that you're more invested in the outcome than you might be in a lesser film.
My main complaint would be the inclusion of an unnecessary supernatural element; the killers are cannibals because for reasons I do not understand it makes them super strong and immortal. It doesn't really make the situation scarier (the whole dismembering and eating people thing is villainous enough), and leads to a lot of scenes where the bad guys seem unkillable until one of the heroes, like, kills them extra hard or something and they die for good.
This is a really good slasher movie if and only if you already like slashers. I don't believe it would win any converts. But if you normally dig the genre, this is a well-made, brutal and intense film that delivers the goods better than most of its peers.