They may be cheap to make but they ain’t no cheap scares!
For the uninitiated, Kuman Pictures is an indie Malaysian film company (Irul, Two Sisters, ROH) that specialises in low budget horror and thriller flicks. Even the name, Kuman (germ), was inspired by their motto which is to spread their small indie flicks to as many people as possible. Kuman Pictures takes Blumhouse Productions (Paranormal Activity, The Purge, Get Out, Insidious etc) as its prime example and pioneer.
With aspirations to enter international film festivals in the future, Kuman Pictures not only produces their own films but they see the importance of cultivating even smaller talents and encouraging their growth as well.
With that said, in conjunction with the MCO, the #KumanPicturesChallenge is a way for indie filmmakers to showcase their work and sharpen their talents whilst being stuck at home. All they have to do is get creative with their resources in terms of casting and equipment and create a spooky short film to enter the competition.
The winner of #KumanPicturesChallenge receives RM1,000 and their video will be uploaded to Kuman Pictures’s Youtube channel. The shortlist will be announced on April 23 and the winner on April 28.
So, without further ado, let’s support our budding filmmakers and watch a few of their shorts.
1. Wawasan 2020 (Putra Adib)
Taking place during the final wave of the Covid-19 pandemic, Wawasan 2020 explores the economic crisis that has bifurcated the nation into two classes: The Atas and The Bawah. Our main character Akim is an NGO volunteer while his girlfriend, Elsa is a nurse. Both of them converse via video call session but something sinister is approaching and the call is disrupted by an unfamiliar presence. It soon becomes clear that the situation has deteriorated far beyond their expectations.
2. Satu Suku (John Hafiz)
At a quarter past one in the morning, Paul and John are seen lepak-ing in their living room when John hears a suspicious noise. He then becomes increasingly alarmed and reveals that he has a hidden gift: the capability to summon ghosts. Intrigued, Paul agrees to participate in a ritual which leads to one of the most horrifying outcomes…
3. Cuci Tangan (Zikri Rahman)
Cuci Tangan is exactly what the title suggests. The film depicts a man learning the proper way to clean his hands to avoid the spread of Covid-19. However, the black & white filter gives it a Hitchcockian mysteriousness and we soon find out that maybe the protagonist is washing his hands for a much more insidious purpose…
4. Kepulangan (Fazleena Hishmuddin)
A wife sits at home worried sick since her husband hasn’t arrived home even after the MCO curfew. She grabs her keys and is almost on the way out before seeing her husband appear at the front gate. Relieved, she lets him in but something feels off and eerie about him. Maybe he’s just tired… or maybe it wasn’t her husband she let in the house.
5. 15:45 (TH.ink Media)
A ghost hunter-duo is facing difficulties hunting ghosts during the MCO because of the strict curfew so they decide to rent an apartment that is known for being the frequent location for abnormal murders. Upon arrival, the duo find it strange that the apartment was not locked but simply guarded by just a red cloth. However, as they stay longer, more sinister revelations begin to arise.
6. Persimpangan (Mafidz)
A psychological thriller with disturbing visual and audio effects, Persimpangan portrays the inner turmoil of a man who is plagued by tragedies of his past. Throughout the film, the voices in his head begin to demand control over him and he faces a crossroads that will ultimately determine his fate. Trigger warning for anxiety and depression.
As of right now, there is a wapping total of 215 films submitted for the challenge which shows phenomenal participation from the film community. Of course, I only recommended 6 because these were under my radar but since we all have a lot of spare time, let’s check out the rest and share it to our friends. There’s no greater time than now to support our local filmmakers.
Watch more #KumanPicturesChallenge entries here.
For more pop culture, choose JUICE.