May the Devil Take You – Indonesia, 2018 – reviews

May the Devil Take You  – original title: Sebelum Iblis Menjemput – is a 2018 Indonesian supernatural horror feature film based on The Evil Dead, written and directed by Timo Tjahjanto aka one of The Mo Brothers (V/H/S/2 ‘Safe Haven’; The ABCs of Death ‘L is for Libido’; Macabre; Takut: Faces of Fear). The Screenplay Films production stars Chelsea Islan, Pevita Pearce, Ray Sahetapy and Karina Suwandhi.

Plot:

Alfie (Chelsea Islan) is a young woman with a dark family background. Having been separated from her father for a long time, she then finds him in health. She attempts to find out the answer to the cause of her father’s misfortune and illness.

However, the presence of Alfie’s stepsister, Maya (Pevita Pearce), further confuses the stressful atmosphere; it also complicates Alfie’s efforts to get the answers she’s been looking for…

Reviews [click links to read more]:

“Tjahjanto may have Raimi on the mind, but his film isn’t as “fun” as those – it’s actually kind of a bummer at times, especially when it focuses on the death of Alfie’s mother. He gets a stronger handle on that tonal imbalance than many of his peers, but it’s still an odd blend that will leave some folks unsure if they’re supposed to be hooting and hollering at the gore/voodoo bits, or feeling sad…” Birth. Movies. Death.

” …May The Devil Take You is a scary film. Like we said, Tjahjanto builds tension via silence, and he plays that silence to the hilt. More than once we looked at the screen with a side glance because either someone was shown doing something ultra-disgusting (like in that hospital room “incident”) or we were in the middle of a silent period that we knew would be shattered by the presence of the demon priestess or someone she’s possessed.” Decider

“This movie does win a lot of points with its effects. One particular scene was so brilliantly done that I was so damn impressed, I feel like recommending this movie to everyone. It was a certain face splitting scene done with rather simple – but very effective – practical effects […] The acting is pretty bad in a lot of scenes. At some points, it does get embarrassingly bad. And it’s not just because the actors tend to overact… a lot!” Heaven of Horror

” …a very entertaining package. There are some minor niggles, but nothing so big that you wouldn’t be able to get past them. It offers great gory action, eerie supernatural atmosphere and just good old check-your-brain-at-the-door kind of entertainment.” HNN

“From an aggressive and animated possession to plenty of gore and mayhem the film pivots into its own version of Evil Dead. There are demons chasing our survivors through the woods and a bug-eyed and bloodied body that wants revenge upon those who woke its slumber. This is not complete chaos, but it is an exciting feeling that anything might happen from this point on.” Rue Morgue

“Riotously grisly, this inventive Indonesian horror plays with a variety of nasty elements that work together to produce a gonzo freak-out. So it’s a bit frustrating that the movie doesn’t make much sense, and especially that it has no subtext to make it memorable. But as a masterclass in effective ways to stage violent suspense, it’s a treat.” Shadows on the Wall

“In the Evil Dead-style scenario that follows, Tjahjanto deftly flings all manner of witchcraft, voodoo and splatter just to see what will stick. In this fairly straightforward but busy horror, the subtext may be shallow, but the blood runs deep, ensuring the viewer one hell of a crazy night.” Sight & Sound

Release:

Sebelum Iblis Menjemput was released in Indonesia on 20 September 2018. In November 2018, the film was released via Netflix.

Related:

The Evil Dead (1981)

More Indonesian horror

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