PRIMBON on Netflix is a new horror movie from Indonesia. It has a runtime of just 1 hour and 28 minutes, but is still too slow. As a short film, it could’ve worked. Read our full Primbon movie review here!
PRIMBON is a new Netflix horror movie addition. This new genre movie is from Indonesia, which can be both a real miss or a solid hit. We’ve watched plenty of both to know that much. This one is somewhere in between but leaning towards a miss.
Mostly, it’s just way too slow in its storytelling. Not slow-burn per se. Just slow. And with a runtime of just 88 minutes, that should not be the case. Had this been a short film in an anthology, it could’ve been a strong story.
Continue reading our Primbon movie review below. Find it on Netflix from January 18, 2024.
An interesting setting
The young Rana goes missing while on a mountain hiking trip. Many plots say “mountain climbing”, but that’s hardly the case. Whether hiking or climbing, Rana suddenly shows up at the door of her home.
This almost immediately results in a conflict in her family. Most had thought she was dead, so while her mother happily believes her daughter has survived, the superstitious extended family thinks she’s some kind of ghost.
The fact that Rana does not speak is not much help. Also, she looks rather pale and isn’t acting like herself at all. All of this makes for a very interesting setting for a horror movie, but just getting to this point in the story takes way too long.
Practical effects instead of CGI
The story in Primbon isn’t uninteresting, which is precisely why it’s a shame that it’s so slow. The title of Primbon – to the limited knowledge and understanding I have – refers to a more mysticism-based part of the Quoran. Or the Islamic fate.
We’ve watched very interesting Indonesian horror movies based on other mysticism or supernatural elements. It’s very much like possessions, ghosts, and demons in movies based on the Bible. So far, so good, and you’ll be able to follow it just fine.
Also, Primbon does work really well in the sense that CGI is virtually (pun intended) gone, and practical effects are at the forefront. Bad CGI is usually an issue with Indonesian horror movies, so I want to applaud the focus on practical FX.
Watch Primbon on Netflix now!
Rudy Soedjarwo is the director of Primbon which has a screenplay written by Lela Laila. This is the same writer that gave us Qorin (2022) which is also based on mysticism and supernatural elements. One I would recommend checking out.
The cast includes Happy Salma and Nugie, which are names that just make me smile and do not set the mood for this dark story.
And let me be clear, while this is a small story, it isn’t a bad one. It just cannot handle a feature film runtime. When you try to drag it out for this long, it just becomes unengaging which is a real shame.
Give it a shot, if you’re okay with a slow pace.
Primbon is on Netflix from January 18, 2024.
Director: Rudy Soedjarwo
Writer: Lele Laila
Cast: Happy Salma, Nugie, Flavio Zaviera, Chicco Kurniawan
When a young woman unexpectedly returns home after going missing for seven days, her family casts doubts about her true nature.