(Welcome to The Quarantine Stream, a new series where the /Film team shares what they’ve been watching while social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic.)
The Movie: Impetigore and Satan’s Slaves
Where You Can Stream Them: Shudder
The Pitch: If you only watch American horror films, you’re missing out. Outside of Hollywood, horror films can be weirder, wilder, crazier, more ambitious, and often piss-your-pants scary. And in recent years, Indonesia has announced itself as the latest major player in the genre. Much like how France and Japan created new horror filmmaking waves in the late ’90s and mid-00s, the Oceanic nation feels primed and ready to inspire a thousand imitators with its utterly unique brand of terror. And director Joko Anwar is leading the way.
Why They’re Essential Viewing: Joko Anwar has a number of credits to his name (including an Indonesian superhero movie that I’d very much like to see, please), but two of them are exclusively streaming on the Shudder horror streaming service and both of them are utterly sublime. Both Satan’s Slaves and Impetigore strike a remarkable balance: they’re emotionally moving, character-driven mysteries that revel in grandiose twists and stellar reveals, all accomplished while being scary-as-hell crowdpleasers.
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Horror had a great year in 2018, perhaps because our everyday lives have morphed into an on-going horror story. But while the real world offers no clear conclusion to our current nightmare, horror movies provide a kind of catharsis, because they always draw to an end. Sure, sometimes evil wins in these films, but sometimes, good prevails. The major themes of horror movies in 2018 revolved around revenge, regret, and reflection. So many films on this list are about characters ruminating on the horrors of the past, and coming out a different person in the present. The message seems to be that we all crave change, but we realize we’re going to have to go through hell to achieve it. These are the 20 best horror movies of 2018.
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Satan’s Slaves reminds me of Babak Anvari’s Under The Shadow – two piss-yourself-scary stories so deeply rooted in overseas culture and indigenous circumstance. Joko Anwar’s Indonesian monstrosity does not mess around, readers. Within minutes you’ll be hit with the first of many paranormal punches that land like Manny Pacquiao on a speed bag, one after the other with impressive stamina. Scares are executed via a madman’s blueprint, birthed from beyond the grave and traced from your gnarliest nightmares. I do not scare easy, but you better believe this impossibly proficient downpour of demonization turned me into Jumpy McScreamsALot. Carved by tools that have been sharpened, dipped in acid and blessed by Satan for good measure. Take no prisoners terror, make no mistake.
A Quiet Place and Hereditary have already been dubbed 2018’s scariest films to beat, but you can add Satan’s Slaves to that list now – the most horrifying film of 2018 you haven’t heard of yet. Read More »