Satan’s Slaves (2017) reviews and overview

 
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[Total: 15   Average: 2.9/5]

Satan’s Slaves is currently available on streaming service Shudder and will be released on Blu-ray and DVD in the USA by RLJE Films on August 4, 2020.

Satan’s Slaves is a 2017 Indonesian-South Korean horror feature film about a horrifying evil that plagues a family when their mother dies.

Written and directed by Joko Anwar, Pengabdi Setan (original title) stars Tara Basro, Bront Palarae, Dimas Aditya and Endy Arfian. The film is a very belated prequel to Sisworo Gautama Putra’s Satan’s Slave (1980).

Reviews [click link to read more]:

Satan’s Slaves is a movie that is much more intelligent and restrained than its title would lead you to believe. It’s certainly fun and exciting and occasionally a little schlocky, but Anwar packs so much below the surface that he really must be applauded. This is an impressive, scary, and effective horror film that is not to be missed.” Cinema Slasher

” …this Indonesian horror movie is not exactly unique in terms of plot, exploring a disturbing pact with the spirit of evil, and yet Satan’s Slave succeeds because of its atmospheric execution, well-built characters, and enigmatic approach, offering some familiar and unfamiliar scares which combined work effectively enough to give you the big creeps.” CineMarvellous!

“Joko Anwar builds solid substance from painfully human currents draped chokingly beneath inhuman dread. In spite of some familiarity, Anwar taps a formula for being frightening that sets up Satan’s Slaves as an impressive example of carefully crafted Indonesian horror.” Culture Crypt

” …Satan’s Slaves marks itself as one of this year’s most entertaining horror films. Is it a perfect work? No, but that doesn’t make it any less impactful, or any less fun. Like the films to which he pays homage, Anwar shows us a good, nerve-jangling time, without cheating or dehumanizing his characters.” Daily Dead

“While I feel like Satan’s Slaves could have been tightened up by about ten minutes and should have relied a little less on music stingers for its scares, the film’s intriguing mythology, as well as excellent performances from its cast as a whole, elevate Anwar’s tension-filled exploration of the price that families can pay when someone dabbles in the dark side.” Daily Dead

“At one point, in Scooby Doo-like fashion, we see the family through a doorway, running from a demon one way in single file, then suddenly turning and sprinting back in the other direction. Shortly afterwards, a strange cult looms in their graveyard garden and the father frustratingly asks who they could be, Ian responds with a line which would feel more at home in Carry On Screaming: “Definitely not our neighbours!” Oddly, moments like these which shouldn’t work somehow do and make it even more worthy of a viewing.” Eye for Film

“The closest touchstone really is The Conjuring, as it also felt like both a throwback and a new classic horror film at the same time. While Satan’s Slaves doesn’t quite reach those heights, it carries itself with enough confidence and tension to satisfy horror fans.” Goomba Stomp

” …the film looks fantastic (Joko can make a dollar look like ten on-screen), acting is great across the board, there is some wicked humor to be found throughout, and he’s not afraid to kick at a boundary or two. There are some jabs and homages to the original, and the film is also cleverly linked with several of Joko’s other films…” Screen Anarchy

“Every death-dealing aspect syncs so systematically well in this housebound horror story from the twang of screeching string instrumentation, urban legend undertones and downright insatiable thirsts for genre purity […] Satan’s Slaves a full-service haunter with its finger on the pulse of fear incarnate.” Slash Film

” …does do an excellent job of delivering tension and scares. Writer/director Joko Anwar claims the original was the film that inspired him to become a filmmaker and he’s done well by it. Some will be disappointed that it isn’t as bloody and unpredictable as his earlier horror film, Ritual. But that approach would be wrong here, this is a nostalgic tribute to older films and it works great as such.” Voices from the Balcony

Cast and characters:

Tara Basro … Rini
Bront Palarae … Father
Dimas Aditya … Hendra
Endy Arfian … Tony
Nasar Annuz … Bondi (as Nasar Anuz)
M. Adhiyat … Ian (as Muhammad Adhiyat)
Arswendi Nasution … Ustadz (as Arswendi Bening Swara)
Egy Fedly … Budiman
Ayu Laksmi … Mother
Elly D. Luthan … Grandma
Fachry Albar … Batara
Asmara Abigail … Darminah

Technical details:

107 minutes
Audio: Dolby Surround 7.1
Aspect ratio: 2.35: 1

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