Macabre the Mo Brothers

Macabre the Mo Brothers
For their splatteriffic feature directing debut, Macabre, directorial duo the Mo Brothers (the unrelated Kimo Stamboel and Timo Tjahjanto) cut right to the chase, offering up a simple adjective to describe their film, presumably because no one would let them call it The Indonesian Chain Saw Massacre. Cribbing the basic plot set-up from Tobe Hooper's 1974 masterpiece, and paying homage to the history and tradition of the modern gore film along the way, Macabre follows a group of unsuspecting travellers, including a brother and sister reconciling after an estrangement (Ario Bayu and upcoming Indonesian scream queen Julie Estelle), who grant a ride to a stranger, in this case, a waif-ish, innocent-looking young girl (Imelda Therinne), who claims to have been robbed and stranded. They meet the girl's weird family, including her ageless, austere mother, Dara (Shareefa Daanish), and rigid, preppie brother, Adam (Arifin Putra), and marvel at the weird house filled with animal skulls and ancient weapons. Drugged at dinner, the unfortunate guests wake up to… well, you know. Macabre takes a while to get going, has more than a few flaws of internal logic and its destination should be of no surprise to anyone who's seen a handful of horror films. Despite these reservations, the film delivers on its titular promise. With just the right amount of grim humour and ample doses of stylish gore, Macabre runs the blood'n'guts gamut. While the film pulls no punches, it thankfully lacks the mean-spiritedness that plagues many of its torture porn ilk, and the slight supernatural elements add a dose of fun despite the relatively straightforward storytelling. While Macabre may be too bloody to appeal to a broad audience, it's clever and creative enough that it should satisfy the average gorehound until their next feeding. (Mongrel Media)