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The 3rd Eye 2

Mata Batin 2
2019 / 116m - Indonesia
The 3rd Eye 2 poster

Rocky Soraya is quickly establishing himself as one of the primary horror directors of Indonesia. He set up two horror franchises and with a little help of Netflix he's meticulously developing them into international successes. While his Doll series seems Soraya's main priority, this second 3rd Eye film looks to diversify his oeuvre.

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After Alia's sister Abel is killed by a ghost, she applies to work in an orphanage. There she meets Nadia, a girl who also has an opened third eye (i.e. she can see ghosts). Together they seek out the ghost that's been pestering Nadia at the orphanage, when they find her though they're unprepared for the great secret they're about to uncover.

The setting is spectacular and Soraya creates some moody horror moments. The problem with his films is that they are simply too long. There's nothing original here and two hours is too much for the material at hand. If he could just cut 20 to 30 minutes, I'm sure he'd end up a lot closer to the horror masterpiece he's dying to make.

The 3rd Eye

Mata Batin
2017 / 108m - Indonesia
Horror, Thriller
The 3rd Eye poster

Indonesian horror that mixes local ingredients with familiar Hollywood fare. The result is a little uneven, with a few bland performances and some poor CG scares, but there are also a couple of decent twists, the cinematography is nice and the latter half delivers on its premise. All in all pretty decent filler.

The Doll

2016 / 107m - Indonesia
The Doll poster

When you've decided to see a horror film titled The Doll, you really shouldn't be expecting anything original. And honestly, there aren't any big surprises here, even the twist ending is by the numbers. There's a haunted doll, a bunch of classic horror scares and a little girl that turns out to be pretty creepy.

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There's a little Conjuring and Annabelle in here, but it's really just a basic Asian horror film, steeped in drama and delivering plenty of chills and creepy moments along the way. The good thing is that Rocky Soraya does a commendable job, no matter how predictable the film is and how many times you've seen this exact same thing before.

Performances are decent but a little overdone during the creepier moments. The cinematography is nice and moody, the CG a bit flaky but functional. The soundtrack is above par though, quite loud but effective and atmospheric. The Doll isn't a true must-see, but if you're looking for some tasty horror filler, it's a surprisingly well-made film that is sure to please genre fans.


2018 / 113m - Indonesia
Sabrina poster

I'm not really sure why Sabrina isn't part of Soraya's The Doll franchise (especially since he seems to be working on The Doll 3 right now), but it's not even distinctive enough to be considered a true spin-off. It's really just a carbon copy of the first two films, all traits and defects intact.

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Sabrina is another ghost-infested Doll flick. This time the doll is even uglier compared to the ones in his previous films, to the point where you have to wonder who would actually buy these freakishly uncomfortable things. Not that it matters. The doll draws a ghost, a new family is being haunted and once again Laras is there to save the day.

Performances are a bit flaky, the CG is also far from perfect and the runtime is at least 20 minutes too long, but Soraya does know how to create tension and regardless of the film's faults, there are still a fair few good, effective horror scenes. Far from a great film and I hope Soraya reinvents this franchise with his next film (not getting my hopes up though), but this was decent enough horror filler.

Suzzanna: Buried Alive

Suzzanna: Bernapas Dalam Kubur
2018 / 125m - Indonesia
Suzzanna: Buried Alive poster

Another typical Rocky Soraya production. He's no doubt one of the front-runners of Indonesian horror cinema, though not exactly due to the quality of his productions. Most of his films are pretty decent filler, much like Suzzanna, but they fail to really stand out or give Indonesian horror a strong identity.

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When Suzzanna's husband goes away on a business trip, four of his subordinates plan a little raid on his house to earn an extra buck. Suzzanna was supposed to be out, watching a movie, but she returns when feeling ill. The raid goes south, Suzzanna ends up in the ground and she returns as a vengeful spirit.

There are some decent enough scenes here, also some retro-kitsch that is quite cute, but the biggest problem is the length of the film. The setup is basic, and the premise isn't very original, so there was really no reason to stretch this beyond the 2-hour mark. Suzzanna is pretty decent horror filler, but hardly up there with the better Indonesian horror films.

The Doll 2

2017 / 117m - Indonesia
The Doll 2 poster

Not quite as good as the first film. The Doll 2 is noticeable longer, which is rarely a good sign for a horror sequel. Director Soraya got a little overconfident and devoted more time to the actual story and drama, but that's not what made the first film such a charming little horror flick, on the contrary.

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There's nothing wrong with drama in horror films, it's basically a given in Asian horror, but if you want to put it front and center you need better actors and a director who can do proper drama. The Doll 2 has neither, which just makes it soapy. The setup is nice enough and the ending is pretty cool, but the middle part just drags and is hell to sit through.

Performances are good enough for a horror flick, but not for a drama. The visual effects are overall solid, though there is some flaky CG here and there. As for the doll design, that could've used a little extra attention too (even though the credits showed there was an actual doll designer). Could've been another decent horror film, if only Soraya had cut 20 minutes from the middle.