24 December 2009

Chok Suat Ling Said It Well, Eat That David Teo!

Khusus juga buat semua pengarah Malaysia yang asyik memberi kita sampah tiba-tiap bulan:

CHOK SUAT LING
Movies so dumb you'd demand a refund

2009/12/24, The New Strait Times.

SANTAU was touted as the scariest local horror film ever made.

The movie, about black magic and possession, promised moviegoers they would not be able to look at scrambled eggs quite the same way again. Or step into the bathroom alone.

A warning appeared on screen before the opening credits: "Pregnant women and those with weak hearts should not watch this." Toes curled in anticipation.

But there was no scare, shock or awe. There were no premature deliveries or cardiac fibrillations. There was, however, a primordial reaction from the audience: the cineplex reverberated with uproarious laughter, at moments when the actors on screen were deadly serious.

As anyone would be, no doubt, if they had to eat animal entrails and rubbish and were being possessed, chased or strangled by pesky demons every few minutes.

A power outage or menacing storm in almost every scene probably added to their sombre disposition. But the audience was tickled nonetheless.

The chuckles began as soon as the lead actor, Esma Danial, came home to find not his wife in bed but a bedraggled apparition looking uncannily like veteran actress Mariani Ismail. (Why is it that distinguished actresses such as Mariani and Ruminah Sidek are only called upon to act as ghastly old ghosts these days? But that's another story.)

Santau made a killing at the box office, collecting RM1.5 million in its first four days of screening.

But despite the professionally made-up ghouls, the film was run-of-the-mill; an amalgamation of everything we have seen in J- and K-horror flicks and the Twilight Zone television series of the 1960s. And it was supposedly one of our best this year.

The last "scariest movie ever", Jangan Pandang Belakang, promised to thrill in 2007, but also relied heavily on sudden loud noises, screaming fit to wake sleeping moviegoers, and ghost-behind-you-in-the-mirror shots to deliver the scares.

Want to be scared into insomnia? The vengeful croaking ghost in Ta-kashi Shimizu's Ju-On will give you more sleepless nights than all the bedsheeted spirits, pocong, momok and zombies in Kampung Pisang put together.

In Thailand's Shutter, the scene showing the mournful ghost Natre clinging to Ananda Everingham's neck was seared into the minds of moviegoers. It stopped them from taking gratuitous photos of themselves for their Facebook profile. At least for a while.

Shutter spawned an inferior Hollywood remake, as did Ju-On, Hideo Nakata's Ringu, and the Pang brothers' Jian Gui ("The Eye").

What's up with Malaysian horror movies? Or Malaysian movies in general? The fare that's churned out studiously by our studios -- notable exceptions include Bernard Chauly's Gol & Gincu, Kabir Bhatia's Cinta, Erma Fatima's Diva Popular, and Afdlin Shauki's Papadom -- are far deadlier than weapons of mass destruction. They can vaporise brain matter faster than bazookas.

We are not even talking about coming up with something of international standard, in the league of big-budget Hollywood blockbusters of the 3D alien warriors or humankind on the verge of extinction variety. Just something palatable enough, and more entertaining than an empty carton of popcorn.

Is it possible to have local movies where the actor's mouth is synchronised with the dialogue?

Can we eliminate naughty djinn, bohsia, Mat Rempit, reality show contestants and cinta fotokopi, and introduce original storylines and crossover appeal? Can we have fewer breaks in continuity, such as when actors' clothes change between scenes? Can we reduce lapses of logic, such as next-door neighbours greeting each other as though they have not seen each other in years?

In Santau, for example, how is it that the bomoh is all dressed, prepped and ready for an exorcism when the demon-possessed wife is brought to him unannounced on a stormy night?

(nota aku: Sebenarnya, para penonton ketawa bukan kerana si Bomoh itu sudah sedia berpakaian lengkap, Suat Ling silap, malah kalau dengar dialognya, jiran Esma sudah memaklumkan kepada bomoh itu, iaitu tok guru kepada jiran Esma. Penonton ketawa kerana kemunculan Bob Lockman sebagai BOMOH. Suat Ling tidak tahu bahawa Bob Lockman merupakan pelawak terkenal Malaysia di televisyen. Pengajarannya ialah, jangan ambil Saiful Apek dan kawan-kawannya untuk berlakon sebagai bomoh, melainkan anda Afdlin Shauki yang diketahui mempunyai landasan pelbagai dimensi dalam lakonan dan perwatakan)

Where are the movies that take time to tell their stories and set up their characters? Such efforts have been made in the movies of Yasmin Ahmad, Ho Yuhang and Teck Tan, but when it comes to horror, where is the atmosphere, suspense and creeping dread?

Why do such movies elicit laughter when comedies do not?

All movie buffs want is something that won't make them flinch, double up in pain, or long for the last two hours of their life back. Is that asking for too much?
nota fadz: Rebiu aku tentang Santau.

20 comments:

Johnny said...

diva popular?

biar betul...

fadz said...

Ya, si penulis ini menamakan Diva Popular, sesuatu yg agak menarik.. soalannya, kenapa?

Amir Muhammad said...

Saya pula tak sabar nak tengok SANTAU sekali lagi :-) Filem seram tempatan yang paling menarik.

TMBF said...

I couldn't agree more with Saudara Chok. :)

jhebat said...

penulis ni takde sense of humor, boo-hoo

fadz said...

Jhebat, tapi sekurang-kurangnya penulis ini ada "poin" dalam hal: di mana filem seram sebenar Malaysia? Ini yang dipersoalkan..

jhebat said...

sebab di M'sia, kita ada hantu yg bernama LPF. selagi hantu LPF ini tidak dipasung, selagi itu filem-filem seram kita terpaksa bersembunyi di sebalik agama dan moral. common sense ma..

P/s: Papadom tu bukan filem seram ke?

fadz said...

buat aku, LPF itu hanya perkara kecil dalam hal yg lebih penting: kreativiti.

Malah kalau hang nak tahu, banyak benda2 yg dalam Santau itu pun yg melanggar dasar2 baru LPF tetapi TIDAK PUN dipotong (ini isu yg menyebabkan David Teo mengamuk di Finas tempoh hari, sebab filemnya dah siap tiba2 LPF keluarkan ruling baru)

Kalau dilihat pun, di Amerika, filem seram sebaik The Haunting sangat LPF compliant kalau mahu dibikin sebuah filem. Malah PHSM yg kononnya kena bedal dgn LPF, kenapa PHSM2 yg diberi "lax" tetap membuat kerja entah apa2 yg sama? Tgk sahaja Kekasihku Seru, satu siri seram yg phenomenal, byk melanggar hal2 yg amat sensitif dan tabu dlm LPF yg PHSM tak dapat lepas (tangkal, orang keluar kubur, org mati hidup balik, dll.) tetapi boleh saja disiarkan, malah antara siri yg terbaik keluar TV tahun lepas.

Jadi halnya masih ttg kreativiti, bgmn pengarah bermain dengan teknik .

jhebat said...

"...Kekasihku Seru, satu siri seram yg phenomenal, byk melanggar hal2 yg amat sensitif dan tabu dlm LPF..."

maknanya seram sebenar boleh di capai dengan melangkaui acuan 'seram' LPF la kan? sama la tu.

siaran TV kalau rating tinggi (bawa keuntungan), LPF takkan kacau (LPF kacau TV ke?). LPF dan Media Prima ada 'tugas' dan kepentingan masing-masing. yang menjadi mangsa utama LPF adalah filem (oleh syarikat produksi).

oh ya, di Malaysia, kreativiti adalah perkara terakhir yang kita akan jumpa. tak percaya? cuba propose kat mana-mana produser filem tempatan, sebuah filem seram TANPA hantu. explain kat dia bahawa true horror berlaku di dalam kepala dan bukannya di atas layar skrin.

"siapa target audiens kita yang mahu tonton filem seram TANPA hantu? mangsa kita (pembeli tiket) yang penat bekerja makan gaji, mahu enjoy di dalam pawagam, you ingat nak tonton ke filem seram TANPA hantu? you nak tak beli burger tanpa daging burger? you hanya dapat dua keping roti. daging burger itu bukan tak ada, ada, ia wujud dalam kepala you, cogito ergo sum. you rasa berbaloi ke you beli burger tanpa daging burger?" balas produser itew tadi.

akhirnya ia berbalik kepada hukum komoditi, pengeluaran-permintaan. bye bye kreativiti.

fadz said...

Itu (Kekasihku Seru) hal TV, Santau juga boleh dijadikan poin bahawa LPF kadang-kadang "tutup mata".. ini berlaku selepas PHSM 2 (!) Ramai tak sedar hal ini (malah LPF amat-amat longgar waktu itu!)

Sila tonton sendiri filem-filem yang keluar selepas PHSM 2. Malah kalau diikuti kronologinya, LPF dibantai teruk2 oleh pembikin filem dan org awam kerana kononnya yg menyebabkan PHSM tak cukup bumbu.

Santau adalah contoh di mana LPF buat tak tahu langsung: tangkal, bomoh, penggunaan jin (tetapi dijustifikasikan dgn kononnya, akhirnya, kuasa Quran menandingi kesemua ini), beberapa filem yg berani seperti Histeria juga melakukannya, termasuk Anak, Skrip 7707, Jangan Tegur, dll.

ada sebuah filem yang cuba menyatakan "tiada hantu", kononnya "supernatural thriller", seperti Syaitan, tapi ya, berapa kerat penonton yg faham, dan berapa kuatkah kreativiti yg dibuat oleh Bade (Selepas itu Bade melonjak dengan CGI bukan2 dalam Maut).

Oh ya, ada sebuah filem Malaysia yg berjaya tak papar "hantu", seperti yg Jhebt maklum tapi punya kuasa seram psikologi kuat, sebuah filem seram pendek arahan Ho Yuhang dalam antologi filem2 seram Malaysia, dibikin pada awal 2004 (sewaktu dgn Gol & Gincu)..

Poin: boleh pun org kita buat, dan boleh pun penonton kita menerimanya! Tapi berapa kerat kan pengarah yg berani mencubanya sekali lagi..

dex said...

gue tetap rasa filem RAHSIA the best Malaysia's horror movie..hihi (Rahsia ada banyak keluarkan hantu tak?)

jhebat said...

ho yuhang - yg guna angle cctv tu ke?

fadz said...

ya jhebat..

fadz said...

dex, Rahsia has its moments, selain daripada disadur daripada sebuah filem Hollywood, The Channeling.

Paan said...

Fadz, you got a really interesting blog!

Saya baru sahaja habis menonton filem 'Hard Candy' lakonan salah seorang aktres all time favorite saya. Pernah tonton?

Apa pun, diharap Fadz akan sentiasa sihat agar dapat saya berkongsi tentang minat kita yang sama - FILEM, melalui blog.

Have a nice day!

fadz said...

paan, tq so much..

but i havent seen hard candy, adussss...il try chking it out.

Spiral said...

"..true horror berlaku di dalam kepala dan bukannya di atas layar skrin"

Hey jhebat! Ada horror di "SKRIN" lah! Haha!

Santau kalau dah release DVD nanti bilang aku. Berkenan nak tonton.

fadz said...

spiral, bagi alamat kat fb ye.. nanti wa hantar

Nuppy said...

hah? cmana kau boleh tak layan lagi hard candy? antara filem yang sangat disturbing pada aku.. pegi cari sekarang! hahaa

fadz said...

ok ok, aku masukkan dalam senarai aku cek Nuppy, hohoho