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?