Jakarta. After venturing into action films in recent years, director Timo Tjahjanto – one half of the Mo Brothers – will return to the silver screen with a new horror flick "Sebelum Iblis Menjemput," or "May the Devil Take You," scheduled to hit Indonesian cinemas on Aug. 9.
The Mo Brothers' first came to national and international recognition with the gory horror-thriller "Rumah Dara" ("Macabre") in 2009.
Timo's partner-in-crime is Kimo Stamboel. The two met at film school in Sydney, where they studied at the School of Visual Art.
The duo are also responsible for "Killers" (2014) and "Headshot" (2016), gaining a reputation as one of Indonesia's finest exponents of splatter and gore.
This time Timo is stepping out on his own to direct his first solo horror movie.
The director has actually been working on another film on his own since 2014, the much-hyped action-thriller "The Night Comes for Us" – starring The Raid's Iko Uwais and Joe Taslim, but so far the film remains unreleased.
Sebelum Ibis Menjemput follows the story of troubled 20-year-old girl Alfie (Chelsea Islan) who one day finds her father Lesmana (Ray Sahetapy) lying unconscious in a hospital bed.
Wanting to find out what happened to her dad, Alfie and step-siblings Maya (Pevita Pearce) and Ruben (Samo Rafael) decide to go rummaging through Lesmana’s old abandoned villa.
There they discovered a terrifying truth about their father’s past.
Judging by the trailer, released at a press conference in South Jakarta on July 9, we're set for more of the Mo Brothers' signature shock and gore in Sebelum Iblis Menjemput.
Producer Wicky Olindo said Timo’s new film depicts the devil, who terrorizes and kills humans, as a representation of human evil.
Horror has been the flavor of the year in Indonesia, with "Nini Thowok," "Bayi Ghaib," "Jailangkung 2," "Alas Pati" and "Danur 2: Maddah" already scaring the pants off audiences all over the country.
Sebelum Iblis Menjemput also involves Abimana Aryastya, not as an actor but as a co-producer.
This is the first time the 35-year-old, best known as the leading man in "Haji Backpacker," "Negeri Van Oranje," "Sabtu Bersama Bapak" ("Saturdays With Dad") and "Warkop DKI Reborn: Jangkrik Bos! Part 1," tries his hand in producing a film.
Abimana said before he became an actor he actually worked as a lighting director, and the experience helped him a lot in this production.
Sebelum Iblis Menjemput also marks Chelsea Islan and Pevita Pearce's horror debuts. Both actresses are better known as pretty faces in romantic movies.
Chelsea had worked with Timo before, starring as Ailin in the action-thriller Headshot.
Chelsea said it took a lot of effort to get out of her comfort zone and really get into her character in Sebelum Iblis Menjemput.
"This is my first experience acting in a horror movie. It definitely tested my limit as an actress," she said.
Pevita concurred with Chelsea, saying the film forced her to improve her acting skills.
"Understanding my character was a bit of a challenge. And you won't believe how hard it is to keep acting when the scenes are so horrifying," she said.