The Queen of Black Magic (Ratu Ilmu Hitam): Movie Review

Kimo Stamboel's "The Queen of Black Magic" doesn't disappoint if what you're looking for in your horror film is a heavy dose of guts and critters to make you squirm in disgust. Honestly, this was one uncomfortable film to watch as a slightly entophobic person. But outside its gory exterior, the film was rather disappointing in terms of its substance and writing. 
Hanif (Ario Bayu) was orphaned at an early age. Luckily he found himself rescued by Mr. Bandi who runs an orphanage out of his own expense. Hanif eventually grows up to be successful and have a family of his own. When Mr. Bandi is gravely ill, Hanif decides to return to pay his respects. But the homecoming turns into a supernatural and deadly ordeal as someone or something is using black magic to avenge the evil deeds of the past - long-buried but not forgotten and eventually to be revealed.
We wouldn't say that "The Queen of Black Magic" was bad. In fact, it was good but not great. It was acceptable but could have been a lot better. Central to its issue was its lazy and overcomplicated writing. A lot in the film's narrative and even its various characters felt unnecessary or under-developed. This was a film with a lot of surprises in store for its viewers. But it felt like it was surprising and twisting viewers for the shock factor alone. The setup to these bombshells were missing or completely forgotten or written off and these payoffs were not satisfying in any level. But if you're out for horror and horror alone, "The Queen of Black Magic" will leave you mostly satisfied. The visual effects were surprisingly well-done and the various bugs and critters that show up truly disgusted us. The body horror, gore, and makeup were convincingly well-made. While the performances from the actors were acceptable. While we enjoyed watching this, it was frustrating at times on how it obviously botched a better film time and time again.      
Rating: 3 reels

Why you should watch it:
- a horror film that knows how to make you squirm in disgust

Why you shouldn't watch it:
- the writing was its weakest point presenting a hollow and overcomplicated plot

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