A man is on a holiday in the woods with his wife and two kids when they are surprised by the arrival of an uninvited guest. Suddenly, he experiences a time lapse. Before he understands what’s going on, he finds himself separated from his family. And when he starts finding several alarm clocks that seem to have been planted throughout the woods, he knows he has to race with time if he wants to see his family alive.
Basically that was sort of the synopsis of the movie from Rotten Tomatoes, and to be honest, I can’t tell you further or I’ll spoil the story. I’m guessing this review might not be spoiler-free too for some people, even though I WILL NOT reveal the ending here.
Last year I’d been waiting for this movie to be released in cinemas, because, well, I love Joko Anwar’s works (his movie “Pintu Terlarang” was good too, by the way, so make sure you check it out too). Unfortunately, when this movie came out, I was in Malaysia for a student exchange, so I couldn’t enjoy the cinematic experience. Thankfully, the DVD version of the movie came out, so I could still (sort of) enjoy it at home.
First of all, for a 86-minute-thriller, this movie is quite slow, so be patient. I was quite bored the first 30 minutes, but good things come to those who wait, and trust me, it was WORTH IT. There are many things to highlight about this movie, and I couldn’t list which one is the most important, so I’ll just list it in order of “appearance”.
1. The language. I know this is an Indonesian movie, but the movie is in English. Literally. I don’t know why, but somehow we have this understanding that if the movie is Indonesian, then the title and the language used in the movie must be Indonesian. Well not Modus Anomali. The title might be very Indonesian, but the language used is full-on English. Some might get annoyed with the Indonesian-accent or the English used in the movie (and all the props inside), but not me. I’m really happy with it.
2. The main actor, Rio Dewanto. His expressions throughout the movie really made the movie, and really made you question the clues you gather along the movie. Before Modus Anomali, I’ve seen his act on “Arisan 2” (where he acted as a gay guy, and trust me, he looked really gay then), and also on “?” (Tanda Tanya), and he is really, really good.
3. The make-ups and props. There’s nothing more satisfying than a thriller/gore movie with a decent and beliavable blood, scar, or wound, and Modus Anomali scored with flying colors.
4. The story. Most thriller movie ends with every questions and mysteries answered in the end, and you get out of the cinema with a certain satisfaction of knowing about it. For me, this doesn’t happen with Modus Anomali. You finish the movie with questions and doubts; you doubt whether the movie is good or not; whether your guess about the plot is the right one or not; or whether the clues you picked up along the way are real. In a way, this movie forces you to discuss it with people who watch it with you, and when you finally understand about the premise of the movie, you’ll actually think, “Damn, this is genius.”
I might be exageratting, but that’s what I felt after watching the movie. Before Modus Anomali, I watched The Conjuring, but I’m not satisfied with it. Sure, it’s quite scary, but in the end, it’s not that good compared to other horror movies I’ve watched. With Modus Anomali, I was not sure the movie was good or not, and I started having questions But after I found the answers, I was really satisfied, and understood what Joko Anwar want. This is a good movie.
But, if there’s any similarities between Modus Anomali with The Conjuring, is I wish it can go at least a step further. It can be better, this is why I give Modus Anomali 9 out of 10.