In 2017 Director Joko Anwar broke Indonesian box office record with his supernatural horror film Satan’s Slaves; a re-telling of the 1980 feature of the same name, a tale of a poor family family haunted by the death of her mother with devilish consequences.
Since then Anwar has made a name for himself in the genre scene with features such as Impetigore and wrote the screenplay for The Queen of Black Magic marking him as one of the most influential Indonesian filmmakers of all time. It was perhaps then inevitable that he would return once more to the Suwono family and their further unwitting ventures with the occult.
In Satan’s Slaves 2: Communion we pick up the narrative four years down the track with the family now living in an apartment flat as their father (Bront Palare) feels this would be a safer option being closer to civilisation than a remote house. What unfolds however is more dark and sinister than they could imagine, and the walls of security steadily become unstable.
It’s clear that Anwar knows his art, crafting a film with the similar beats of its predecessor. That’s not to say that this is detrimental to the film as he harnesses an eerie and unsettling scenario that matches the universe that he initially created. The ambience is slowly built up with a growing tension that pushes you to the edge of your seat and throws in a number of jump scares along the way.
The performances are solid too with Tara Basro, Endy Arfian, and Nasar Anuz all returning as the siblings in peril.
As solid as the craftwork is behind the film, there are obvious flaws through its predictable pattern in places. Regardless of this, SS2:C is enjoyable to watch and there is enough dedication to plot and character development for the audience to care about the outcome. Something tells me, there’s more to come from the Anwar’s world.
– Saul Muerte
Satan’s Slaves 2: Communion is currently streaming on Shudder ANZ.