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Review Sewu Dino (2023): Underwhelming and disappointing!

genre: horror, mystery

Three women are asked to do a job for the Atmodjo family, who are very powerful and wealthy but are clouded in mystery and darkness. One of these women is Sri, who desperately needs money so that she can pay her father's expensive hospital bills. Let't just say that these women are going to regret their decision.

The job consists of performing a cleansing ritual for Dela, the granddaughter of Karsa Atmodjo, who apparently has been hexed with a one thousand day curse. Sewu Dino means a thousand days in Javanese, hence the title. From the get go, Dela's condition is horrible, she smells and she looks like her body is dying. And it kinda is, since a demon is slowly trying to get a hold of her. When a part of the ritual goes wrong, Sri and one of the other women get scared and run away. It's here where they find out they can't leave since they are magically fenced. They will collapse and faint, thus making any attempt to escape pointless. The shaman on site comforts them by saying that it's more intended for the evil entity. I don't know why he thinks that would comfort them, I mean, if the entity or demon can't and leave, and they can't either, they are trapped. How is that a good situation to be in? But the woman now understand the gravity of performing the ritual in the right way, and they do their best to do so. Until things don't go as planned.

Sewu Dino asks a lot from the viewer. You need to suspend disbelief a lot of times, and you need to go along with the very little story they give you. You aren't even given an explanation of why Dela was cursed in the first place. It's hinted that the Atmodjo family aren't nice people and have made a lot of enemies, and that they kind of deserve the black magic attacks on them. That might be, it sure would have been nice to give us more background on that. I just realize, that maybe, the Atmodjo family are demons but that after a while, they return to their original form which can only be prevented by the cleansing ritual. Pure speculation on my part since a lot of the story elements are super vague. The end result is that the film ends with an unsatisfying conclusion. The film does bank on some decent jump scares and creepy imagery, but there wasn't a consistent sense of dread and tension. Actually, I have tried watching this film two times in a relative short period and both times I fell asleep at the same exact moment. It could be that this happened because both of these times it was very late at night still, if a film delivers on dread and thrills I usually get energy from that, and I would have stayed awake. The truth of the matter is that Sewu Dino is far too slow and boring for its own good. It easily could have made things creepier and scarier. Or at least have given us a better story on the family who is cursed upon and the curse givers. 

Overall, Sewu Dino, is underwhelming and disappointing, especially compared to Kimo Stamboel's previous works.

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