Bucheon International Fantastic Film Festival 2019
Marsha Aruan, Caitlin Halderman, Susan Sameh
Released in 2014 and often compared to its Japanese counterpart Fatal Frame, the Indonesian video game DreadOut is a frightening “survival” game that became widely popular in the West via YouTube. When given the task of adapting the game for cinema, writer-director-producer Kimo Stamboel, one half of the Mo Brothers duo (MACABRE, KILLERS) with Timo Tjahjanto (THE NIGHT COMES FOR US), had the brilliant idea of joining the real to the virtual.
In an attempt to boost their online popularity, a group of friends obsessed with their social media exposure decides to broadcast their clandestine visit into an abandoned building that was last used by a cult, before they were taken down violently by the police during one of their ceremonies. Thanks to Linda, the gang's youngest member, the students charm the security guard into letting them in, on one condition — never set foot on the 6th floor. Which, of course, is where their quest for likes undoubtedly leads. They discover old pages upon which are inscribed mystical writings that only Linda can see. Faster than you can say “Klaatu barada nikto”, she opens up a portal into an alternate dimension filled with wraiths and zombies that is home to a horrifying woman in red.
Mixing certain key elements of the game with several references to classics of Western horror cinema (most notably THE EVIL DEAD trilogy) while still retaining its Indonesian flavor, DREADOUT is a diabolically entertaining horror film best witnessed surrounded by fans of the genre. With its tremor-inducing sound effects, creative photography and horrifying creatures, Stamboel's first solo directing gig demonstrates impressive efficiency, guaranteeing even the most seasoned spectator spine-tingling chills. The perfect balance of funny, disgusting and gory moments helps to keep the film accessible to all. If DETECTIVE PIKACHU gave gamers everywhere a massive cuteness overdose, DREADOUT is perfect for those who prefer a serving of the undead with a shot of demonic possession on the side. – Translation: Guillaume Desbiens
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