Hantu Air | Movie Release, Showtimes & Trailer | Cinema Online
Movie Details

Hantu Air

Due to carelessness, a bottle that seals an evil spirit fell into a resort lake. After that, paranormal activities begin to take place in the resort managed by Mawar. To make things worse, the various occupants of the resort have dark secrets of their own... Fauzi, who just lost his wife and child, drifts aimlessly to the resort. After meeting Mawar, the two become friends and sparks of romance begin to fly between them. Husband and wife Ramli and Ros are staying with their children for a holiday but find the place to be below their standards. For besties Jennifer and Alicia, their interest in outdoor activities brought them there. Young couple Roni and Shiela are making the isolated resort a place for them to indulge in their forbidden trysts. So many people for the Spirit of the Water to kill...

Language: Malay
Subtitle: NA
Classification: P13
Release Date: 6 Sep 2012
Genre: Comedy / Horror
Running Time: 1 Hour 36 Minutes
Distributor: GSC MOVIES
Cast: Saiful Apek, Hairi Safwan, Nisha Dir
Director: Murali Abdullah
Format: 35MM

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Review
Writer: Elaine Ewe

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Have you ever watched our local horror comedies? If you have, then you would know that they either appeal to you or they don't. For the reviewer, "Hantu Air" falls into the latter category. Much like Saiful Apek, there is a certain amount of ridicule to be had for a ghost that dwells in the water, which, taken into account, churns out a low budget horror film that never manages to trundle into the second gear.

This yarn begins with the introduction of our hero Fauzi, played by Hairi Safwan, who is tailed by a child spirit that may or may not be malicious. Director Murali Abdullah persists in this direction throughout the film, hammering into us the fact that Fauzi is a tortured soul that has never managed to get over the deaths of his wife and child. As the sun sets on the film's last act, we finally understand why, but by that time it is already too late for us to care. This is the opposite for Nishar Dirr's Mawar, Fauzi's eventual love interest. In the beginning, Mawar is a doe-eyed, naive love interest who helps to ground the film, but as the film rolls into the credits, she degenerates rapidly into the damsel-in-distress stereotype. As for the rest of the cast, their incessant screaming, wailing and lame jokes are akin to nails scratching against the chalkboard.

There is, however, an intriguing ambiguity to "Hantu Air". What is the point of the film? More to the point, how bad can the film get before you decide to storm out of the cinema? Like the masochists that horror fanatics are, this question alone just almost keeps you glued to your seat.

From its opening scene that establishes how the evil spirit is released into the lake, thereby forming the hantu air (water spirit), to the title cards, Murali Abdullah gamely abuses horror and comedy conventions with unconventional filmmaking styles. For example, Murali chooses to show spirits disappearing onscreen, as opposed to cutting to another angle before cutting back to the previous scene but minus the spirit. This is done abruptly, creating a jarring experience because it only serves to emphasise the cheap computer-generated imagery (CGI) work. To make things worse, Murali relies on a lot of CGI for "Hantu Air", but its somewhat formless plot structure and somnambulant pace makes its 90-minute duration seem much longer than it is, serving up a conclusion with a deus ex machina that leaves your eyes rolling hard enough to experience vertigo.

Although mysteriously leaky faucets and water sprinklers and the out-of-place gore might suggest that "Hantu Air" has the makings of a better-than-your-run-of-the-mill horror comedies, this inkling of an idea is quickly shot down by Saiful Apek and his "Senario" gang, whose jokes just leave a sour taste in your mouth. One of the film's funnier scenes involve the trio being terrorised by the malignant spirit, who inches ever so closer, only to stop short of a few paces in front of them due to the lack of water on the ground. Two of them rejoice, but the third just had to pee in his pants, and as they say, the rest is history. Or not.

"Hantu Air" is far from perfect, with enough shudder-inducing scenes and agonising performances to make it not worth the trip to the cinema.

Cinema Online, 22 August 2012
   
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Classification
U - General viewing for all ages
P13 - Parental guidance is advisable for children below 13 years old
18 - For 18+ with elements for mature audiences
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