Starring Tara Basro, Ario Bayu, Marissa Anita
Directed by Joko Anwar
After surviving a vicious attack by a stranger, toll booth collector and failed entrepreneur Maya (Satan’s Slaves’ Tara Basro) decides to take a break from city life and return to the village (the kind of remote village you can’t find it on Google maps) where she was born.
Back home, Maya learns more about her lineage: turns out she comes from money and her family has a mansion. Alas, it’s derelict and abandoned for a while — and for a good reason. “It’s a house of disease,” one resident warns Maya. Oh, boy. Good luck putting the house on the market.
Uncomfortably tense, atmospheric and slow-burning, Indonesian genre specialist Joko Anwar’s latest is a rural-jeopardy thriller (naïve urbanites versus inhospitable country folk) mixed with black magic, wayang kulit and infanticide (the title is a play on impetigo, a skin infection that affects children).
While it’s not as gory as you might expect (which is good news for some people, bad news for others), and some bits are a tad derivative (hello, Creepy Little Girls!), but there’s plenty of armrest-clawing fun along the way. In Indonesian with English and Chinese subtitles. (***)