31 promo art
31
(2019,Indonesia)
3 stars  

directed by:Peppi Piona
starring: Dafina Jamasir, Ichal Muhammad, Fenny Wijaya, Krisna Murti, Jovita Karen, Lavicky Nicholas, Guntur Nugraha, Anof Zulfiana, Agus Andrian

choice dialogue:

"That ugly doll disappears so quick!”

- who is behind the mask?

slash with panache?

 

[review by JA Kerswell]

   31
  A seemingly unconnected group of people are invited to a Halloween Party in Indonesian slasher 31.

Not to be confused with Rob Zombie’s 2016 horror movie of the same name, this made-for-TV Indonesian slasher is cheap but hokey fun. A group of people are invited to an exclusive Halloween costume party where they are picked off one-by-one by a killer in a giant doll costume using a samurai sword, chainsaw and various other sharp implements. Another slasher so obscure that it has - at time of writing - no entry on IMDB.

Young entrepreneur Arwan has been hired by a mystery woman to run a Halloween party at a remote mansion. His girlfriend Farrah - who was severely injured in a car accident exactly a year before - asks if she can come, but Arwan tells her that it is strictly invite only. Farrah becomes upset after Arwan’s mother tells her son to “Dump the cripple.”

Meanwhile, six people receive invitations to the Halloween Party - which promises a large prize for the best costume. This seemingly disparate group consists of two young students, a taxi driver, a restaurant owner and a boss and his secretary (who are having one last fling after the man’s wife discovers their affair). Dressing like demons and ghosts from Indonesian folklore, the group arrive at the destination at midnight. There they are met by Arwan, who tells the delighted party-goers that there is an even bigger cash prize for the person who wins a treasure hunt. Putting aside their unease that they were the only guests at the party, the group split up to look for the clues to the loot. However, another guest is at the house dressed in a giant doll costume with a permanently smiling face. Distracted by the promise of riches, the group at first don’t realise that whoever is in the doll costume is a killer …

   31
  Someone has gone to very little expense to disguise themselves as some giant cheap ass doll in 31!

Directed efficiently in that somewhat flat TV style, 31 admittedly comes to life in its eccentric second half where it enters increasingly demented and fun SCOOBY DOO territory. The identity of the killer is almost too easy to guess, but part of the mystery is discovering why this seemingly unrelated group are for the chop. Being a TV movie, some of its more exploitative elements are blunted but it does revel in that sense of the ridiculous where many cheesy slashers find their sweet spot.

In the last ten years, there seems to have been a vogue for killers in slasher movies to choose the most impractical of disguises. From the giant bobble-headed doll killer in JAPANESE DOLL (also 2019), to the oversized killer teddy bears in Thailand’s NIGHT OF THE KILLER BEARS (2022) and the smiling mascot with the giant head in the Swedish horror comedy THE CONFERENCE (2023). The killer’s outfit in 31 is a budget version and no less impractical - providing severely limited peripheral vision for all the stalking and slashing. In the film’s funniest moment - intentional or otherwise - there is a scene where the killer drives a car whilst operating the peddles with giant doll shoes on. In another ludicrous scene, Arwan tries to calm the nerves of the party-goers by excusing a woman pinned to a tree by a crowbar through her mouth as an unfortunate accident! The killer, when revealed, delivers a pleasingly demented rant and motive dump with a thoughtfully recorded video. However, the movie does end abruptly to such a fashion that the viewer is left to wonder if the money just ran out.

31 was a Tobali Putra production - which had also made the 2005 slasher PSIKOPAT. It appeared on the Indonesian subscription digital content streaming service Genflix and was reportedly released in segments, but disappeared from the platform after 3 months. Whilst nothing original and it has been done better elsewhere, 31 is still a fun watch for undemanding slasher fans and hopefully one day will be rescued from its digital grave.

 

BODYCOUNT  bodycount!   female: 3 / male: 4

1) Male stabbed in the back
      2) Female pinned a tree with crowbar
      3) Male run through with chain saw
      4) Female stabbed in the head with a knife
      5) Female run over with a car
      6) Male cut up with a chain saw
      7) Male killed (off screen)

 

 

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