A comedy horror about a film crew haunted by a pocong (wandering ghost), Evil Rises Pocong jumat kliwon is good fun within its modest, throwaway limitations. Currently ranked as Indonesia’s most prolific film-maker, director/d.p. Nayato Fio NUALA — aka Koya Pagayo, Ian Jacobs, Pingkan Utari and Ciska Doppert — studied film in Taiwan and returned to Indonesia in 1996, and since his first feature, The Soul (2002), has made almost 50 movies, mostly in the past five years.
Though his movies embrace almost every genre (First Love, The Butterfly, Virgin 2), Nuala, 43, is best known for his horror movies (Ekskul, The Ghost of Mortuary), with a particular stress on local favourites kuntilanak (female vampires) and pocong.
Back-of-a-coaster plot, by Nuala’s regular writer Ery SOFID, starts with the old trick of a scene from the film before segueing to the bickering crew, hauntings by the ghost, and more hauntings when they all go back to the house they share.
(An almost identical plot trajectory was used by recent Malaysian docu-horror Resurrection Seru, made just afterwards.) With the actresses at each others’ throats, the ghost jumping around in a traditional knotted shroud, a gay stylist throwing hissy fits, and the women constantly taking showers, the accent is firmly tongue-in-cheek, and on that level the film both keeps moving within its tight running time and never pretends to be anything more than it is.
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