• Name: May The Devil Take You (aka Sebelum Iblis Menjemput)
• Year: 2018
• Country: Indonesia
• Director: Timo Tjahjanto
• Main cast: Chelsea Islan, Pevita Pearce, Ray Sahetapy
• Runtime: 110 minutes
• Production company: Screenplay Production, Legacy Pictures
What is good in Timo Tjahjanto movies? Despite his young age, he has proven for close to a decade his talent in terms of action filmmaking and true fear horror sequences. Is there anything bad in Timo Tjahjanto movies? Well, this is mostly a personal opinion, but I’m afraid the stories are the weakest side of his productions. In merciless action flicks like the other one he released this year The Night Comes for Us (2018), or his already genre classic Headshot (2016), perhaps it is not so important, because the plot dominance remains in the spectacular fights, bullet showers and frantic action. But with May The Devil Take You (2018), released on Netflix this past weekend, this weakness damages a little bit more the overall sense.
May The Devil Take You (2018), or Sebelum Iblis Menjemput in its original Indonesian language, is a pure horror film. From the very beginning of the movie until its very scary final sequences the fear is present almost in all the running time. The story follows a classic pact-with-the-devil theme, with a man sealing a deal with an evil spirit in exchange of fortune. But when he refuses to pay back hell breaks loose for him and his family because the demonical creature wants what is hers, and will do everything in her power to get it. The man gets in a sudden coma and his offsprings are to suffer the wrath of a cheated demon.
Most of the action in May The Devil Take You (2018) happens in a cabin in the woods and its surroundings the old man had, and with the only protagonists of his family. This minimalism of the placements and the characters bring writer and director Timo Tjahjanto the power to use all the elements around to drive his doomed figures crazy. Mysterious dark rooms with monsters inhabiting, possessed creatures crawling up the walls, blood-vomiting on other people’s faces in front of the rest of the family… Many of those horrible things that we might have seen in several other movies altogether in a very very sordid atmosphere. Yes, May The Devil Take You (2018) is a very atmospheric movie. The goal is to scare the audience, and the demons do a very good job with that.
Amazingly dark cinematography, very good performances of the actors who manage in a very intense way to share the fear suffered by the characters, some of the best make-up effects seen in movies lately, and the sublime direction Timo Tjahjanto is capable to achieve in order to create the sordid horrific ambiance and terrible happenings. The problem is the almost 2 hours of running time feel like too much. The idea is simple but good, the plot takes an intense path along all the story, but although the scenes are fierce and full of a pure horror feeling. But it’s a pity towards the end of the movie some feeling of boredom invaded me even though on the screen I was witnessing some pretty extreme shit.
Again, this is only one opinion, take it or leave it. I can imagine viewers to be terrified for almost 2 hours and not being able to sleep for a week because of a little movie called May The Devil Take You (2018). I think this film has this potential. It surely deserves a second viewing after a prudent time, because this is one of the best horror works of the year for sure. And Timo Tjahjanto has proven again he is currently one of the most talented and promising horror and action filmmakers in Indonesia and maybe the whole world.
IMDB URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt8765496
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