Movie Details


Halim and his family are blessed with happiness and wealth gained through his own growing business. On top of that, he has an understanding wife Nina who stands by his side and a lovely daughter named Tuti. Near Halim's home, there is an unrented house. Ever since the neighbour moved out from that house, Tuti sees mysterious happenings until a point where Nina begins to experience weird incidents that have never happened before. Nina's character soon changes drastically, where she becomes a lazy and hot-tempered person. Halim does not believe Nina and Tuti's story on the existence of the paranormal until one night; Halim rushes home upon hearing his wife being possessed.

Language: Malay
Subtitle: Na
Classification: PG13
General Release Date: 10 Dec 2009
Genre: Thriller / Horror
Running Time: 1 Hour 23 Minutes
Distributor: METROWEALTH
Cast: Putri Mardiana, Riezman Khuzaimi, Esma Daniel
Director: Azhari Mohd Zain
Format: NA

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Writer: Ezekiel Lee Zhiang Yang

Writer Ratings:
Overall: 4.0 Out of 5
Cast: 3.0 Out of 5
Plot: 3.5 Out of 5
Effects: 4.0 Out of 5
Cinematography: 3.5 Out of 5

Watch this if you liked: “Exorcist”, “Drag Me To Hell”, “Congkak”, "The Tattooist"

After 33 previous films, looks like the local prolific powerhouse that is Metrowealth Movies Production (or more often credited as Metrowealth International Group, MIG) has finally got it right. With the release of "Santau", Malaysian cinema can finally boast of a projected box office shockbuster that is solid as it is sound, and one that can travel regionally as a credible and entertaining supernatural horror flick, immediately bettering those pocong and kuntilanak efforts that pour in all too easily to these shores from neighbouring Indonesia.

Like watching a movie adapted from a Stephen King book, "Santau" combines an ancient Malay occult practice with a tight story, decent editing, convincing traditional FX and an able cast lineup to offer a complete movie experience that is frankly woefully missing in part or in whole from previous MIG movies such as "Jangan Pandang Belakang" and "Congkak". This time around, sudden loud noises, constant shrieking and overdone look-behind-you shots take a backseat to proper character development and scene resolution as we follow a married couple and their daughter who are all hexed by an unknown enemy with black magic prowess.

Newcomer Putri Mardiana may have a slightly limited range of emotions but eating live maggots and other physically challenging possession scenes make her an actress to look out for in upcoming projects. Her nervous housewife character Nina is the chief accursed and she is well supported by Esma Danial as the desperate husband Halim, while young Farisha Fatin gets an introduction as their confused child. At any point if the inconsistent performances by these actors threaten to show, all is well covered by a progressive story with complementing camerawork and some truly macabre makeup and special effects. Riezman Khuzaimi, Zul Handy Black and Bob Lokman also star in supporting roles. However, perhaps it is greenhorn director Azhari Zain and his immediate crew who are to be lauded for this wonderfully scripted effort.

Complete with customary twist and an extended climax overkill in exorcism ritual (not to mention without the token romantic subplots and other useless cinegredients that plague local horrors), "Santau" is chillingly effective like a local "Drag Me To Hell" and isn't too far off from being the best thing Malaysia can yet hold up to classics like "Exorcist" and "Poltergeist". This will be an intense hair-raiser you won't be embarrassed for enjoying and getting the demon scared into you in all its violent, bitter black glory.

Cinema Online, 03 December 2009

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