Tuesday, April 23, 2024


DANCING VILLAGE: THE CURSE BEGINS is a prequel to KKN DI DESA PENARI​. It is also the first film shot specifically in IMAX from South East Asia.

A young woman is instructed by a shaman that she needs to return a bracelet from where it came. Traveling with a cousin and some friends, she ends up in a mysterious village where strange things are happening. It soon becomes clear that she must join the ceremony to find the next guardian who will spend the rest of their life dancing.

Full disclosure, I did not see the previous film so I was viewing this with no knowledge of the earlier film. I say that because you need to know that if you choose to see the film you'll be perfectly okay. Additionally while I know the first film is supposed to be based in part on a "true" story (a Twitter thread), I don't know if this film is entirely fictional or has any basis in the original "true" story.

This is a gorgeous looking film that is more creepy than scary. While there are some scares, the film seems more interested in creating an oppressive mood and a feeling of unease that builds through the course of the film rather than scaring us every few minutes. There is nothing wrong with that if you know it going in. I suspect that is the result of the film  having the structure of similar films about trips to isolated villages where weird things happen. As I said that I realized that I need to add that you shouldn't let that keep you away from DANCING VILLAGE simply because where it goes on this trip is what is important. The payoff is worth the trip

If there is any flaw in the film it's the two hour run time. Taking a leisurely pace,  seemingly the better to allow for IMAX images, DANCING VILLAGE can seem a little slow at times. As good as the film is it seems like more than once the film gives itself over to moments for the large screen presentation just because of IMAX. That  said understand I did not see the film in IMAX and it is entirely possible the film play better in that supersized format. (Then again the first film runs just under three hours in it's extended form)

As it stands, DANCING VILLAGE: THE CURSE begins is a solid horror film that works on it's own terms. It's good enough that I've added the original film to my watch list on Prime.

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