Tag Archives: Tara Basro

Slum Lord

Satan’s Slaves: Communion

by Hope Madden

In what may be Joko Anwar’s most assured and consistently spooky effort, Satan’s Slaves: Communion evokes effective, building horror.

Building, like a towering apartment building. It’s not an image you expect to find in horror, but it has been used to fantastic effect a number of times. Obviously, Rosemary’s Baby and The Sentinel delivered urban terror via creepy architecture. More recently, Rec and the action classic The Raid took advantage of layer upon layer of floors and doors for bloody mayhem.

Anwar blends the supernatural of the earlier films and the pandemonium of the latter with the looming presence of the structure itself, a bit like what you’ll find in Eskil Vogt’s The Innocents and Ciaran Foy’s 2012 horror, Citadel.

The mish-mash works wonders to conjure a dark, dreary, dangerous trap with supernatural evil waiting down every hall. And don’t even look in the laundry chute.

A sequel to his 2017 Satan’s Slaves (itself a riff on Norman J. Warren’s ’76 cult horror Satan’s Slave), Communion picks up in 1985, just a few years since Rini (Anwar favorite Tara Basro) and her brothers Toni (Endy Arfian) and Bondi (Nasar Annuz) lost their mother and little brother to something very sinister. Their dad moved them to this building in Jakarta, and as long as they can survive the big storm that’s coming, Rini will finally leave the nest and pursue her education.

Sure. Just don’t take the elevator.

The first Indonesian film to be shot in IMAX, Satan’s Slaves: Communion looks as grimy and shadowy as any Anwar film – as it should. He uses shadows and distance, cramped spaces and lighting to set a stage that unnerves. Both sound design and practical FX complete that picture. Yes, the ideas and even some images are pulled from other films, but the final concoction is utterly Anwar.

Skin Trade


by George Wolf

In a remote Indonesian village, a garden of small headstones marks the effectiveness of a Shaman’s curse. Newborn after newborn dies, the one survivor growing to endure a mysterious, painful existence.

Creepy, right?

Shudder’s Impetigore scores some definite points there, which help to offset a narrative often hampered by convenience and confusion.

Maya (Tara Basro) and Dini (Marissa Anita) are best friends trying to make a go of it in the city. With no family to speak of, they scrape by with menial jobs while dreaming of a better future.

Though raised by her aunt, Maya learns of a spacious home left behind by her wealthy parents. Maya could very well lay claim to this valuable property through inheritance, so she and Dini make their way to the remote village, unaware of the curse and their place in it.

Writer/director Joko Anwar (Satan’s Slaves), an Indonesian genre veteran, seems to know he’s got some solid benchmarks here while not worrying too much about the strength of what binds them together.

Dialogue can range from awkward to WTF-worthy, amid a few convenient plot turns and one humdinger of extended curse explanation that strains coherence.

But when Anwar hits his creepy marks, Impetigore can leave one. The atmospheric isolation in the village feels authentic, and once blood begins letting, the tension is well-paced, bolstered with some satisfying visual payoffs.

There will be eyerolls, but if you’re keeping score, also enough frightful eyebrow-raising to make Impetigore a winning dive into twisted family values.