Impetigore is a visual suspenseful, supernatural feast combining old-world lore and high quality body horror. The film by Indonesian horror icon Joko Anwar (Satan’s Slaves), follows Maya (Tara Basro ) as she travels back to her small village with her best friend Dini (Marissa Anita) in the hopes of acquiring family property to help with the financial struggle of living a big city lifestyle. What she doesn’t know, is what darkness lies in the shadows of a village shrouded in a curse of loss, revenge, and desperation.
Anwar’s films have themes of fertility and pregnancy, and Impetigore is no exception! There is a certain type of wild joy, mystery, and fear a Mother feels during pregnancy- and a protective instinct to sacrifice anything for the safety of her child. This film captures all of these complex emotions and personifies them in clean white linens spiked with drops of blood, the sound of children laughing in the deepest parts of a dark forest, and a house with cracks in its walls that carry secrets and betrayal. Are ghosts formed from us? Is a curse something ancient that’s always been there or is it created from the sinister parts of humankind? You know how humans shed layers of dead skin cells? What if the cost of growing YOUR skin, meant the death of someone else…? ANYWAY- what I’m saying is Impetigore is a well oiled philosophical machine of nightmare fuel!
To sum things up, this Indonesian treat is a masterclass in grisly suspense- relying on visceral tension and genuinely unsettling imagery instead of jump scares or CGI. Do not sleep on this film- there is a reason why Anwar is considered a genre legend. Impetigore drops July 23rd on Shudder. Hang around and check out the trailer below!