2012, colour, 2.35:1, 99 mins
Directed by Upi [Upi Avianto]
By Derek Elley
Thu, 26 July 2012, 09:30 AM (HKT)
Average psychohorror is too much psycho and not enough horror. Asian and genre events.
Jakarta, the present day. Young barman Elang (Abimana Aryasatya) is haunted by nightmares involving a mystery woman in a car with a man in a rabbit suit and dead bodies in the back. Ningsih (Masayu), a waitress, tells him a killer is rumoured to be stalking women in the neighbourhood, and Djenar (Laudya Chintya Bella), who lives next door in the shabby apartment building with her young daughter Senja (Imel) and husband, also tells him she's frightened. One night in the bar, Elang sees the mysterious woman, Jingga (Imelda Therinne), and rescues her from an abusive customer. She asks to stay with him, as she's been evicted from her flat. Elang's dreams and visions become worse, including seeing Jingga hanging dead from the ceiling. She tearfully tells him that the men who raped and tortured her must die, so one night he accompanies her to face them. Elang is arrested by the police for multiple murder, despite protesting his innocence. He insists that Jingga is still alive, though she cannot be found. Detectives Yosef Laurent (Arswendi Nasution) and Arturo (Teuku Rifnu Wikana) then find the flat next door to Elang's has been empty for the past year.
Indonesian writer-director Upi (aka Upi Avianto), best known for her rom-coms and youth dramas (Looking for Love in 30 Days 30 hari mencari cinta (2004); Reality, Love, and Rock'n Roll Realita, cinta dan rock'n roll (2006)), is on much less secure ground in the psycho-horror genre with Shackled Belenggu, an is-he-dreaming-all-this-or-not movie that's mostly atmosphere and not much else. D.p. Ical TANJUNG, who shot Upi's gang drama The Last Wolves Serigala terakhir (2009), conjures up a moody, somewhat noirish look to the film (mostly shot in interiors) that complements the grungy, claustrophobic sets by art director Iqbal RAYYA RANTE; but it's all in service of a script by Upi herself that strings the audience along with one after another nightmare/vision until an unnecessarily complicated denouement that doesn't spring any real surprises.
More importantly, the movie just doesn't deliver any real shocks — partly because the viewer is never allowed to become engaged in the dilemma of the protagonist, played one-note harried by Abimana ARYASATYA (Boy's Diary Catatan (harian) si boy (2011); #republiktwitter), and partly because on a psycho-horror level there's nothing new or inventive here. Shackled isn't bad, it's merely routine, with okay performances by the rest of the cast, including actress-model Imelda THERINNE (from portmanteau horror Hi5teria) as a kind of femme fatale and veteran Bella ESPERANCE bringing a touch of mature class in the later stages. As a horror device, the idea of having someone dressed in a rabbit suit evoked much more dread in SHIMIZU Takashi 清水崇's Tormented ラビット・ホラー３Ｄ (2011).
The film has no connection with Indonesian writer Armijn Pane's famous 1940 novel Belenggu (Shackles), a psychological love triangle.
ContactSales: Falcon Pictures, Jakarta (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Premiere: Puchon International Fantastic Film Festival (Puchon Choice, competition), 20 Jul 2012. Theatrical release: Indonesia, 28 Feb 2013.
Presented by Falcon Pictures (ID). Executive producer: H.B. Naveen. Producers: Frederica, Upi.
Script: Upi. Photography: Ical Tanjung. Editing: Wawan I. Wibowo. Music: Aksan Sjuman. Art direction: Iqbal Rayya Rante. Costume design: Andhika Dharmapermana. Sound: Jantra Suryaman, Khikmawan Santosa.
Cast: Abimana Aryasatya (Elang), Imelda Therinne (Jingga), Laudya Chintya Bella (Djenar), Imel (Senja), Verdi Solaiman (Guntur), Jajang C. Noer (woman in kebaya), Bella Esperance (grandmother), Arswendi Nasution (Yosef Laurent, senior detective), Teuku Rifnu Wikana (Arturo, his assistant), Masayu (Ningsih, the waitress).