Despite being helmed by Ubay Fox who also directed Valentine: The Dark Avenger I found Rasuk to be a major disappointment. So did the studio behind it. Not enough to abandon the property, but enough to make Rasuk 2 with an entirely different cast and crew. Veteran director Rizal Mantovani whose credits include Jailangkung, Kuntilanak and their sequels was brought in to direct a script by Haqi Achmad (Offering) and Baskoro Adi Wuryanto (Ruqyah: The Exorcism, Jailangkung). Could the changes turn the potential franchise around?
Medical student Isabella (Nikita Willy) and her friends Nesya (Lania Fira) and Alma (Sonia Alyssa, Death Whisper) are assisting with an autopsy. Afterwards, she sees a figure in the stairwell. One that disappears when she looks away. The subject of the next day’s autopsy however resembles the apparition which reappears later causing Bella to pass out.
Bella’s sister Inggrid (Raquel Katie Larkin) arrives to check up on her. She asks her sister if she’s seeing ghosts again. This time however Isabella isn’t just going to see ghosts.
Rasuk 2 sadly isn’t an improvement over the first one. Both were based on novels by Risa Saraswati, that and one character are all they have in common. If the film was true to the book that may be the problem. The film doesn’t know if it’s a horror movie, a mystery or a love story.
Almost as much time is spent on Isabella and her neighbour Raja (Achmad Megantara, Return of the Devil’s Child) than on the film’s darker elements. We even get a conversation between her friends who are shocked that the two were kissing. I was more shocked that while tracking down the identity of the ghost that’s possessing her she would feel like finding a new boyfriend.
Not that the relationship is really built up. One minute she’s leery of him the next they’re together. But it has to happen to serve a plot point. It’s the same with her investigation. One minute Isabella is trying to find information on the woman’s identity and who killed her. The next the woman’s best friend tracks her down to tell her everything. How’s that for convenient?
Even the possession, Rasuk 2’s supposed main theme is handled shoddily. After Isabella is possessed the first time, the spirit is cast out by the local handyman. I couldn’t keep a straight face during this exorcism. There’s never any real question of the spirit’s identity or what they want. And if you’re still awake after the first few minutes, you’ll be able to tell who they want it from as well.
Rasuk 2 was released in its native Indonesia at the beginning of the year and seems to have sunk without a trace. Let’s hope they leave bad enough alone and don’t make a third attempt. These films seem to be as cursed as their heroines.
The print of Rasuk 2 I saw was subtitled, unfortunately, I can’t find a subtitled trailer. If you’re curious, you can check out the film’s Facebook page, also in Indonesian.