Timo Tjahjanto’s MAY THE DEVIL TAKE YOU has been crossed off the watchlist. What did I think of the latest Indonesian horror?
A family get caught in a bitter property battle when their relative, an owner of a strange house in the woods falls ill to a mysterious virus. When the bickering family arrive at the run-down house the imdeiatley know something else is in there with them. They realise that their uncle’s illness may be more to do with demonic possession. The guy probably needs an exorcist more than he needs a doctor and hospital bed.
The film jumped from past to present trying to create some sort of backstory. Sadly, I couldn’t find any connection and they just didn’t make any sense to me and by the end, I was left scratching my head. But, in saying that, luckily the blood flow and demonic encounters are a plenty with some truly unsettling moments. I think May The Devil Take You would have been a better movie without trying to create some melodramatic family drama. It’s about demons. Throw loads of people in a house, let the demons munch and possess. That’s all I need from this kind of movie. Nothing more, nothing less.
A lot of people are comparing this to last year’s Satan’s Slaves by the great Joko Anwar. We actually got to cover Satan Slave’s when it played at Fantasia Film Festival. It was Mark who watched the movie for review so I have still yet to see it. You can read his thoughts HERE – I remember he was a big fan of the film.
So, even if it is a carbon copy of Satan’s Slaves, I have nothing to compare it to. I really enjoyed MAY THE DEVIL TAKE YOU. To me, this was the Indonesian Evil Dead. There was a nice blend of both gore and jump scares, and overall it was pretty damn gruesome. The soundtrack sounded like it was written and composed by an orchestra with broken instruments which gave the film added uneasiness and piercing tension.
It’s strange that THE DEVIL MAY TAKE YOU was a 15 certificate. Tjahjanto’s level of violence in films is off the wall. He proudly earned himself that reputation with his last 3 films; Killers, Headshot, When The Night Come For Us. Even though it doesn’t have that level of machete-chopping chaotic madness, I don’t think it would’ve received the same certification if released in cinemas.
Not only is Indonesia the home of this new wave of extreme martial arts, but they are also killing it when it comes to supernatural horror. Timo Tjahjanto and company are at the centre of it all. We can’t forget that Tjahjanto started with the horror genre when he gave us Macabre.
For years we have seen American remakes and poor regurgitations of classic Asian horror movies. So what’s the harm in Asian filmmakers taking inspiration from American horror and putting their own twist on things?. Nothing at all.
6.5 Blood-Puking Demons Out Of 10 May the Devil Take You is now available on Netflix. Words by Gary Gamble Founder/Owner/BigCheese @ Moviehooker