khurafat [2011]


Dear Mr Syamsul Yusof, I am finally impressed! ^^ Thank you sir. This upped the grade of Malaysian horrors into another level, along the likes of ‘Jangan Pandang Belakang’ [2007]. That is the first horror that makes me notice.

So this is the newest movie from the winner of Best Director (or something) on the latest FFM. But I tell you, I NEVER like him,never again after this movie I saw with him and the ex-gf Diana Danielle. Can’t remember the title. I don’t like the way he talks, his face expression, but mostly I don’t like his voice and intonation!!

poster filem khurafat 2011

But, being a movie goer like myself, upon seeing the trailer for this movie on the TV, I made up my mind that I will see this movie when I had the time. Yeah it’s Syamsul Yusof that I don’t like, but my discriminating mind disagrees with what I saw from the trailer – his face expression when he cries/terrified (which I loathed), is what attracted me to the movie. I am also kind of a movie junkie, heavily leaning toward Hollywood stuff. But now I’m opening up to every other gems that some unknown (or known) directors are making anywhere in the world. I watched every kind of spoken languages. Now my friends are freaking out that in these recent years, I’m seeing Malaysian movies. What the hell, if there is something convincing and NOT stupid crap like Cinta Fotokopi or KL Menjerit, count me in. Hahahaha so there it is. Just this evening I saw Khurafat alone in GSC Times Square.

I came with an open mind…just hoping to spend some time watching movies before this CNY break. The movie is told in a retrospective way. Flash backs. But not those that’s head spinning and hard to understand, mind you. The movie opens with a scene when a group of people on the way to the cemetery carrying a deceased. There is Johan crying and looking helpless. Then, the scene changes to another time, where we see this young newlywed couple of Johan (Syamsul Yusof) and Aishah (Liyana Jasmay) live with his sick mother and younger sister, performing Jemaah prayer in the living room. Everything is good and Ok. The calm scene when Johan is listening for a religious congregation in the surau is interchanged with scenes of Anna (Salina Saibi) losing herself in the thumping music of a disco. We still don’t know what is her relation with Johan. When the story proceed to the part where the village’s Imam is told to do some kind of exorcism to a local man, I felt a little upset because I’m through with these kind of scenes in Malaysian movies!! I mean, it’s not the only thing that an Imam does…but this is plastered all over our horror movies. That being said, the story unfolds as to what is the relation of Anna with Johan. She’s his maniacal ex-gf. Maniacal for a reason that we’ll understand towards the end of the movie..

The movie doesn’t let us be in peace, especially when the night comes. But hell, the ghost also appear in daylight. The ghost scari-ness is quite scary lah. I’d give a 3.5/5. It’s ways of scaring you and came out of everywhere is 4/5. I hate it that they would make it come from the top! There are many fright moments, sometimes lasts for minutes. When you’d think ‘That’s enough!’ then it’s still there. However it’s not something that will tire you. I mean,

you can’t be tired to be frightened when you’re alone in a blacked out mortuary crying over your suicidal dead girlfriend!

That’s one of the hallmark of scary s**t scene. Suspense is building up when you looked back and see Anna’s dead body isn’t where she supposed to be. The second is the scene following Johan and his friend driving through the night carrying the deceased Anna back in their van.

I like the close ups of main actors/actresses faces throughout the movie. I think this lacks so much from our movies. The eye contact, it’s something with great importance to show expression, and tears (if any). We can see that a lot as a common style in international movies. Doesn’t matter if the actor is the ugliest man on earth. Audiences will cry and laugh with them. Towards the end of the movie, we came to one (only one) unexpected twist. I swear I can’t figured that out. Too busy being frightened. And thinking over the realization of what Johan had done to Anna in the past that causing all this Jin and devils creeping over him every waking moment. In the chase to get Anna who obviously NOT interested with a medical assistant in a hospital like him, he made a pact with the Jin which will result in Anna falling helplessly in love with him.  Something so common these days I’ve heard. This come with a price. A pact that can never be broken, to never ever leave Anna. But then khurafat 4Johan has repented and wanted a new life. So he leaves Anna crazy over him leaving her for Aishah.

I don’t pity him because of what he does. He’s worse than Anna. But, what about his beloved wife, Aishah? The end is told to include Aishah in the picture. I think this twist is really good, really sad. Big big kudos to the few last scenes! They succeed in making something appearing in my eye *tskkk* These ending scenes reminds me of some Hollywood movies which I can’t remember, the way they tell what the actor is feeling (in this case,dreaming) is great. The way that we can feel what he’s feeling. An idea rare to see occasionally in our movies. Still, there are loopholes in the plot. I can see why some people says the ending ruined the movie. In a way, it’s out of place. Something left us feeling discontented. And, some of those usual script and dialogues. Why are we only good in the extremes? Why not try something unspoken, simple but meaningful?

Other actors are as their usual, but Syamsul stands out. Kudos to him for really cried so hard in that helpless situation. That is really good, I will use that *cough cough* to erase my distant memories of everything that I don’t like about Mr. Syamsul Yusof (sadly I still don’t like his voice!!) Most probably I will check out his movies from now on.

Scary meter : 3.5/5

Story : 5/5

*will probably go see new movie ‘Haq’ starring Zulhuzaimi and Adi Putra.ALSO attracted and lured by it’s trailer!!*


4 thoughts on “khurafat [2011]

  1. At the insistence of my best friend, I watched this movie. I was informed that if it was going to be the only Malay movie to be watched this year, it should be this one. Being a non fan of Malay, movie, I went with a jaundiced mine. I had expected another dud. Lo and behold, it was a one hour and 20 minutes mind boggling, seat gripping and heart stopping ride. I hardly touched the popcorn!!

    Kudos to the director, but I honestly feel that Salina ‘s stellar performance deserves a mention here.

    Your review is great and I’m looking forward to hearing more from you…

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