Jailangkung 2 (a 2018 movie review)

I haven’t expected anything from the sequel to the 2017 Jailangkung (reviewed here), but for the sake of completion, I’d decided to go through it. For you, guys – so you know it’s either good or a waste of time.

Good things first, no matter how many or a few they might be. The yellow camera filter is gone. The cinematography is very nice and Amanda Rawles looks fantastic. Also, the opening with the ship crew dying on the ship was nice, and I didn’t mind the CGI flames at all.

Now…not so good things. The script.

Yes, the script. I am not sure what have been the scriptwriters thinking…let’s have a look at it.

First thing to say, Jailangkung 2 follows – somewhat with the distorted timeline – the story from the first Jailangkung movie.

We are witnessing the loading a large crate on the ship, which – as we, along with the poor curious seamen – contains the Mantianak (in a shape of a little girl), bound by a talisman necklace. The crew dies, the ship sinks. OK. That was actually an interesting beginning.

Then we see Angel (the older daughter of Mr. Ferdi) stealing her demonic baby from the newborn baby ward. Considering the fact that Lukman Sardi looks way older than in the first movie, and Angel now wears a shorter hair, one can just guess how much time has passed since the end of the first movie. But OK, there can be a benefit of the doubt, she could have her hair cut right after that, also the coma experience and all that stuff could make Mr. Ferdi look older. Fair enough.

I don’t have much experience (read none) in the Indonesian baby wards, but I pretty much doubt you can just walk in there and take a baby from the crib and walk away. It’s not possible here in the UK, and I am pretty sure it’s not possible in Indonesia either.

Bell and Rama try to find a way to stop Mantianak

Angel brings the baby Mantianak (because that’s it) home and makes sure its well-being is being secured (as her father finds out). Bella, with the help of her boyfriend Rama, tries to find some way to stop it.

They are getting a unexpected help from a boy from their school named Bram, who told them Mantianak can be bound by the talisman necklace (which we’ve seen in the beginning of the movie). So, these three set out to retrieve the talisman from the sunken ship.

Bram and Rama in the old lighthouse

Normally, I’d see a problem with it, but apparently Rama and Bella have a scuba diving training, so they retrieve the talisman and going back home, we’re nearing a great finale.

Meanwhile, we see Tasya playing with a home-made jailangkung, which results in her going missing to the “other side”. This subplot rips off the first Insidious movie and although Mr. Ferdi’s arrival to the old temple has a nice cinematography, this whole subplot feels unecessary and it’s less tense than the Insidious one was.

Now Mantianak gets pissed off and kills Bu Suwito, the psychic Rama’s teacher sent to help them. We seen that Bram is actually not what he seems to be (although, that was evident quite plainly). And in the end he dies and Mantianak is defeated.

That’s basically the whole movie in a nutshell. Scenes are really nice and well shot, actors do what they can, but as a whole, the script made not much sense (Rama, Bella and Bram have to travel to the old lighthouse to check the archive for the sunken ship’s coordinates – because calling some office is probably not enough? C’mon now!). Whole scenes don’t have any sense at all…Mantianak in the graveyard looks more like a scene from Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” video, the scene in the empty shop and in the women’s toilet at school are basically without any meaning but to give some scary moments to viewers.

The finale is also weird…Bram has the necklace to control Mantianak, but it somewhat disobey and obey Angel (as her human mother). Well… am I the only one who sees the problem here? Not to mention how Mantianak escapes from the sunken ship and get reborn and a few other things.

I think such holes in the script (and meaningless filling scenes) hurt movies like this. With a little better script this would be actually an interesting movie.

As such, it’s not really any better…actually, it is better than the first one, but only just. Which, to be honest, doesn’t mean a lot, I am sorry to add.

The cast is mostly the same as in the first movie, except the introduction of the mystic Bu Suwito (played by Ratna Riantiarno, whose screen presence I actually liked a lot), Bram (young actor Naufal Samudra Weichert) and the veteran actor Deddy Sutomo in the role of Rudolf, Bram’s grandfather.

Did I say Amanda Rawles looked fantastic? She indeed does.

Trailer is here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nTRbdzWkW34

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I am the founder/owner and editor-in-chief of the Rubber Axe webzine, the underground/overground cultural publication, publishing also this website dedicated to all things Indonesian. I'm a happily married guy with 2 kids and a fantastic wife, and I'm a relentless discoverer of all things cultural and culinary. An everlasting dreamer and idealist.

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