LOVE AT FIRST FRIGHT

New Straits Times - - Entertainment -

THE In­done­sian hor­ror film which is cur­rently play­ing in cine­mas, is a fresh take on the 2001-re­leased

both di­rected by Rizal Man­to­vani and Jose Po­er­nomo.

Star­ring young In­done­sian tal­ents Amanda Rawles, 16, and Je­fri Ni­chol, 18, the new film fol­lows the jour­ney of Bella who fights hard to un­cover the mys­tery be­hind the events that led to her fa­ther fall­ing into a coma.

Bella (played by Rawles) and friend Rama (Ni­chol) work to­gether to un­cover the place where Bella’s fa­ther is found. This leads them to a house with a Jailangkung.

The arte­fact, a doll-like fig­ure made out of a co­conut shell and wood, is an an­cient part of In­done­sia’s mys­ti­cal her­itage.

The chant­ing of specific mantras is utilised to call upon spir­its to in­habit the wooden doll.

In the film, all hell breaks loose when the Jailangkung, as an evil spirit, starts to haunt them.

So what made the two young tal­ents take on this scary chal­lenge? “I’m the ultimate scaredy-cat. I sleep with the light on.

“So when fam­ily and friends found out that I’d be act­ing in a hor­ror movie, they just couldn’t be­lieve it,” says Rawles with a laugh.

She ex­plains that she just wanted to show fans she was ca­pa­ble of do­ing some­thing dif­fer­ent.

“I like the fact that it re­quired me to get down and dirty, and step out of my com­fort zone,” says Rawles of her first role in a hor­ror film.

“Prior to this, I’ve al­ways landed roles in rom­com se­ries, where I had to look pretty and charm­ing. This film gave me the chance to widen my range as an ac­tress,” she adds.

As for Ni­chol, he was more than happy to be act­ing in a movie di­rected by Man­to­vani and Po­er­nomo. “It was an hon­our and an op­por­tu­nity that I couldn’t pass up,” he says.

The two ac­tors may be young but they’re not ex­actly new­com­ers.

Rawles have been act­ing since 11 and Ni­chol since he was 13.

Al­though they didn’t have any su­per­nat­u­ral en­coun­ters, film­ing at iso­lated lo­ca­tions, grave­yards and deep in the woods was cer­tainly spooky.

“Film­ing a hor­ror film re­quires lots of stamina, since it takes lots of en­ergy to be scared, to run around and to get into char­ac­ter,” says Rawles.

She re­lates one scene shot in a grave­yard from 6pm until 3am. Shot with a drone cam­era, there was no one with them on the grounds.

“It was just me and Ni­chol run­ning around the grave­yard. I think that was the scari­est scene for me,” says Rawles.

Ni­chol adds that he felt pretty scared dur­ing the chant­ing of the orig­i­nal mantra scene.

“Thank­fully, noth­ing creepy hap­pened. We had an us­taz on set to en­sure we were fine. I think that af­ter shoot­ing this film, my be­lief to­wards the su­per­nat­u­ral is def­i­nitely stronger,” he says.

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