ReviewWriter: Anne JamaludinWriter Ratings:Overall: Cast: Plot: Effects: Cinematography: Watch this if you liked:
“Jangan Pandang Belakang”, “Jangan Pandang Belakang Congkak”, “Devil”
"Khurafat" is actions revolving around making a pact with the devil influenced by greed, ego, pride and selfishness. This is the theme that director also lead actor, Syamsul Yusoff tries to highlight in this horror flick. Syamsul plays Johan, a coroner who just got married to a decent and soft-spoken girl named Aisha (Liyana Jasmay). The newlywed's peaceful life suddenly takes a horrible turn following a strange death in Johan's village as well as the appearance of a bitter, vengeful ex-girlfriend named Anna (Sabrina Ali) who would never stop at anything to get Johan back. The plot is simple yet the questions and mysteries involved in this movie are the opposite.
The movie draws inspirations from the best horror moviemakers in Thailand, which obviously can be seen from the spooks or haunting ways the restless soul, entity or demon mayhap appears throughout the movie. However as the movie progresses, the elements of shock and fear of the unknown subside for the reviewer upon seeing the frequent appearance of the entity, thus it kills the suspense and gets a bit overrated towards the ending. One particular scene which involves Anna's suicidal tendencies on herself can be an uncanny resemblance from a Thai horror entitled "Bupah Rahtree". The movie starts on a pace that will engage the audience straightaway before it gradually builds from there. Some frightful scenes are guaranteed to make the audience's heart jumps and stops but it might get a bit too much after the first half. "Khurafat" also has its own twist which will make the audience feel the total opposite from what they might feel at the beginning parts of the movie, making this movie as something that is not as how it seems to be. Although the ending is a rather odd result of trying to make use of the 'twists' but that is something the audience will need to see for themselves at the cinema.
The camera-play and cinematography are decent but there is so much to improve for Syamsul who carries both the director and lead actor position, considering this is his first horror debut. He could improve a lot more in his acting and exude more essence to his character as Johan. At some parts, some of the audience might not be able to relate to or feel for his character. Syamsul might be an award-winning director but he still has a lot to polish in his performance as an actor. Liyana Jasmay carries her character as a docile wife really well though she could have done better in some of the scenes.
"Khurafat" is overall a decent effort from a young director who tries something out of his usual genre despite the loopholes that exist. It is still a movie worthy of the long queue at the cinema for.Cinema Online, 21 January 2011