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The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - MOVIES - Mu a u

HOR­ROR films that use religious el­e­ments are just that much more chill­ing, as sud­denly there is a ba­sis for the su­per­nat­u­ral events to be real. ( Think The Con­jur­ing.)

Mu­nafik falls into the same cat­e­gory. It re­volves around Us­taz Adam ( Syam­sul Yu­sof ), who lost his wife in a car ac­ci­dent and is un­able to move on. While in mourn­ing, he is asked to take on a case in­volv­ing a woman who ex­pe­ri­ences un­nat­u­ral dis­tur­bances. How will his on­go­ing emo­tional cri­sis af­fect his work, since he uses his faith and Qu­ranic verses in the heal­ing process?

Syam­sul, who is also the writer/ di­rec­tor of Mu­nafik, has ob­vi­ously done his re­search and knows how to give view­ers the hee­bie- jee­bies. The creepi­ness is height­ened be­cause his film­ing lo­ca­tions are an ac­tual ceme­tery and mor­tu­ary, and a re­port­edly haunted bun­ga­low.

He also utilises the clas­sic com­bi­na­tion of mu­sic and light/ shadow play to give the au­di­ence jump scares, on top of the straight­for­ward eeri­ness. How­ever, it would’ve been good if Syam­sul had taken the shrill sound­track down a notch or two.

On the other hand, he has elicited good per­for­mances from his cast es­pe­cially from ac­tress Na­bila Huda. But it must be said that some of the ac­tions of Na­bila’s char­ac­ter seem in­con­sis­tent with those of a nor­mal per­son. There are mo­ments too when the plot moves for­ward with­out rhyme or rea­son.

None­the­less, Mu­nafik is solid lo­cal hor­ror fare – a film that prom­ises to haunt your thoughts long af­ter you’ve left the cinema.

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