Based on the short film Dara, Mo Brother’s (actual names Kimo Stamboel and Timo Tjahjanto) debut feature is a genuine slasher film, so filled with gore and violence that became the first Indonesian film to be banned in Malaysia.
A group of people consisting of Adje and Astrid, a married couple expecting a baby, Alam, Eko, Jimmy, and Adje’s sister are heading to the airport in Jakarta. While on the road, they come across a very beautiful woman named Maya, who has been robbed and asks them to take her home. Eko is smitten with her and he persuades the others to comply. Eventually, they reach her house in the middle of nowhere, and she invites them in, to be properly thanked by her mother. They agree, reluctantly, and they soon meet Dara, the mother, and Adam, the brother. Soon, however, they realize that the invitation was not out of benevolence (to say the least) and a fierce and initially one-sided battle ensues, where a butcher and the police are also involved.
The Mo Brothers direct a genuine exploitation film with the focus being on the bloodbaths, the butchering, the mutilations, and everything grotesque the fans of the genre love. Do not expect any depth in the script or character analysis; whoever chooses to watch “Macabre” is here for the blood, and the Mo Brothers deliver to the fullest. What makes the film stand apart is the use of a plethora of “tools” as killing instruments, which include knives, katanas, a crossbow, a hairpin and a chainsaw, which actually features in the most impressive and agonizing moments in the end. Add to all that cannibalism and a forced birth, and you have the backbone of the film.
The second trait that makes the film stand apart is the presence of the two evil women, Maya and Dara. Gorgeous Imelda Therinne plays the role of the siren to perfection, while Shareefa Daanish embodies evil with all of her being, as her face (including her expressions), the way she talks, moves and is dressed ominously exemplify that something bad is going to happen, even before the actual occurrences. Her presence and her contributing to the overall atmosphere of the film are similar to the ones Eihi Shiina had in Takashi Miike’s “Audition.” The award she won for Best Actress in 2009, at the Puchon International Fantastic Film Festival was utterly justified.
Technically, the film is obviously low budget in grindhouse fashion, but the sound and the blood are as they should be in a film like that, as is the case with the somewhat baroque setting of the house, which heightens the grotesque atmosphere of the movie.
“Macabre” is a genuine exploitation/splatter/slasher film, solely addressing fans of the genre and doing a great job in all of its aspects.