Thursday, May 26, 2011

Review - Karak

Karak. A tiny town in Pahang. Used to be the way for KL people to go to Kuantan. Not anymore, after the highway was built.



There were plenty of urban legends and ghostly stories associated with the back roads of Karak. So when I heard KRU Studios was going to do a movie about them, I was excited. Even more excited when I find out Shahir (of AF8 fame) was starring in it. Yes, yes, I am a closet Shahir fan. Shhh.... dun tell anyone... hihi...



So yesterday, I was suddenly informed that Karak the movie had a premiere showing in KLCC. Premiere means stars would be there so I jumped to the chance to go. Plus KLCC is really near my office.



My media invite/entrance pass...

So the movie begins with a family stranded at the side of the road. Car problems. So the husband went off to find help, leaving the wife and baby in the car. Yup, this is the creature eating the husband urban legend. Seriously creepy scene. But it turns out it was just Nik (Shahir) telling the story in a car with three others.

They were stuck in a jam on the highway because there was a huge accident up front. They needed to get back to Kuantan because of classes in the morning so they decided to use the back roads, which would require them passing through Karak town. They stopped for a breather and that's when trouble started. The paranormal kind.

Story-wise, the plot really was exciting and new. There had never been a movie about Malay urban legend before. At least not that I know of. Or I remember. The opening scene with the flying creature eating the husband was good and creepy and scary. Dare I say it, right up there with the murder of Drew Barrymore in Scream. Okay, okay, it's not that good. Maybe Jada Pinkett's murder in Scream 2. Haha. But yes, it was good.

So the scene really set the expectations in my mind about the movie. And when they stopped at Karak town, the mood from the opener was still strong and the scare/horror kept on coming. Although I do detest the usage of loud music just to scare people or make them jump, there were genuine scares and horror abound.

At least until after a third of the movie. Then, it was just ghostly barrages, one after another. So much so that the entities stopped being scary.

I do feel the movie was split into three. The first part - scary shit. The second part - confusion. The third part - wrapping up. But looking at it now (and remembering), it was not as bad as I thought. I do have issues with part 2 and 3 of the movie.

For example: why would you pull a Sofea Jane and go 'berkemban' in the middle of the night and in the middle of a jungle when you just came out of an accident caused by ghostly presence and you are staying in at a creepy man's house. You might get mauled by a creature or a tiger or even by the creepy old man. The sexual part is unnecessary I think.

The necklace? What's the significance of it? Is that the source of the demonic activity? But she was already harassed by it before she put that thing on. So which is it? Which entity was actually doing the haunting? The one that was already at the house or the one that's been following them since they stopped at Karak? Why follow her? Why follow their car? It was never really explained why things are happening to them, except for the fact that the entity wanted to corrupt the girl. Hmm, sometimes I wish scary movies would stop using religion as the go to object to solve the hauntings. It's cliche and if it really was that easy to get rid off the entities, then why not just straight away call for the bomoh or pak imam and deal with it in the first five minutes of the movie? Coz there won't be a movie... I know...

Also, during the opening credits... it would have been a lot nicer if they put in a montage or illustrations of the Karak urban legends... at least, we'd know em before we watch this movie... I am sure some people don't know of the legends...

Acting-wise, pretty good debut for most of them. Shahir and Shera Aiyob, was pretty natural and kinda convincing in their acting. The best friend guy, Md Eyzendy, is no beginner, having been in two other horror movies in recent memory, Seru and Khurafat. In Seru, his character was the same as the one in Karak. The disbeliever. Even though the evidence is right there in front of his face. Kilafairy, the girl who went Sofea Jane in the jungle, was the weakest of the four. Not sure whether it was due to her inexperience or because that's the way her character was written. So damned annoying. Guess that's the cliched dumb blonde characters in horror movies that are always first to die.

So, all things considered, is this a good movie? Like all of April's horror flicks, this movie fell short of its intended awesomeness. Which would make one think that people are just jumping on the horror bandwagon because horror movies are quite profitable... just checked Finas' website... I stand corrected... the previous years' horror movies were profitable... April's movies were all not profitable... Khurafat was the only horror to make it big... hmm, maybe that had something to do with it was the only Malay movie showing in that part of January... and now all the Malay movies have to fight against the summer blockbusters...

Anyway, Karak is pretty watchable. The first 1/3 of the movie is really good and would satisfy horror movie fans. The rest of the movie? Just leave logic and brain at the door and enjoy... I know I did... :)


P/S - Now that I really think about it... it made no sense that the three of them are dead but they still interact with one another and we get to see their interactions... whose POV was that? When Nik and Jack were talking... if only Shera Ayub's character survived, then shouldn't she be in all the scenes where the other three are talking?


PP/S - What exactly did Tok Malam see when the entity using his wife's face were grappling with Nik and Jack? Coz he could not see Nik and Jack in the flashback. So he would've just seen the entity right? Speaking of Tok Malam, why did he not yank the necklace off of the girl when he sees her wearing it?



10 comments:

2senaku said...

Hi, I also posted Karak's spoiler in my blog but in Malay

duasenaku.blogspot.com

The Wan And Only said...

thanks for dropping by! :)

lilacfla said...

good review! i lolled at the 'sofea jane" part

The Wan And Only said...

lilacfla: thanks... and thanks for dropping by :)

Nazlee said...

P/S - Now that I really think about it... it made no sense that the three of them are dead but they still interact with one another and we get to see their interactions... whose POV was that? When Nik and Jack were talking... if only Shera Ayub's character survived, then shouldn't she be in all the scenes where the other three are talking?

It's probably cos they didn't know that they were in fact already dead. They do try to interact with Tok Malam without realizing that he doesnt see them. Remember "Sixth Sense" when Haley Joel Osment says that he sees dead people walking around all the time & they dont even realize that they already dead

The Wan And Only said...

Maybe... it did not seem right though... like in the Sixth Sense, the ghosts do talk but with Haley Joel... except for Bruce Willis' character, but he always talks when his wife was around but wife doesn't see him...

lilacfla said...

ok today i watch the movie. thanks to astro first.

then i had good time reflecting your comments to mine. lol

the unnecessary was yes unnecessary.the necklace, the who is the hantu part. lol

then i end up laughing and commenting here and there about this movie.

its a waste, the ghost are great, they are made in great detail and quality (i dont know how to describe it) they are not crappy as in other film, but hey the storyline, crap. nahhhh

i suggest you watch penanggal by astro. a telefilm i think. well the ghost part is laughable, but the storyline is great.(except the ending, i went rage.)

The Wan And Only said...

Penanggal eh? Will do. Thanks lilacfla! :)

Craft said...

someone please tell me more about this movie. which country does it belong to? Is it indian, pakistani, or what? and i am going to download the movie tonight. So i hope it's as good as you say it is.

The Wan And Only said...

Karak is a Malaysian movie... :)