THE QUEEN OF BLACK MAGIC is a new horror movie on Shudder. It’s from Indonesia (org. title Ratu Ilmu Hitam) and written by Joko Anwar. That alone is reason enough to give it a shot. Also, it’s a remake of a 1981 horror movie. Read our full The Queen of Black Magic movie review here!

THE QUEEN OF BLACK MAGIC is a new horror movie on Shudder that you do not want to miss. The fact that Joko Anwar has written the movie should be plenty of reason to seek it out. Also, it’s the remake of a classic 1981 horror movie. Both the original and this remake are from Indonesia (org. title Ratu Ilmu Hitam).

Fans of classic horror slashers should also appreciate the fact that stills from the 1981 movie are shown during the end credits. A very honest and heartfelt homage to the original movie.

Continue reading our The Queen of Black Magic movie review below and look for it on Shudder.

So very gruesome… it’s brilliant!

The Queen of Black Magic is a catchy title, but it sounds much more gimmicky than the movie is. Also, it’s almost a spoiler built-in to the title. However, all of this doesn’t really matter because once the movie begins, you will forget everything else.

The movie is full of likable characters (and a few not so likable) that actually get pretty well fleshed-out despite the fact that this is very much a brutal horror slasher. There are many gruesome scenes. Whether we’re talking knives, guns, broken bones, or bugs. So. many. bugs.

And it just works! Dear Lord, does it work. Sure, there’s some CGI used in this movie, but much of it is also practical effects. In fact, much of the CGI seems to be made to look like practical effects. That’s not to say that it’s unrealistic. In fact, much of the gruesome stuff is made to look quite realistic.

Joko Anwar is the Indonesian master of horror

I’ve already mentioned Joko Anwar in several reviews since he has made some truly brilliant horror movies. Usually, he does both write (or co-write) his movies as well as direct them. This time around, he has focused on writing this remake while someone else is directing it. 

For me, the name Joko Anwar has become synonymous with solid horror movies. From Satan’s Slaves (which every horror fan should check out) to the recent Impetigore (also on Shudder), Joko Anwar has earned the “Master of Horror” moniker. If you’ve watched Impetigore, then you should also recognize Ario Bayu, who plays the father, Hanif, in this new movie.

Don’t miss: Our review of Joko Anwar’s horror movie Satan’s Slaves (2017) here > 

Also, he made the Indonesian episode of the HBO horror anthology Folklore. Deservedly, it’s the highest-rated episode of season 1. The youngest cast member of The Queen of Black Magic is Muzakki Ramdhan, who plays Haqi. He was also in the Folklore episode A Mother’s Love and he is just perfect for horror. He’s a little charmer that plays hurt and scared like a true pro.

Watch The Queen of Black Magic on Shudder!

While Joko Anwar wrote the screenplay (based on the 1981 original movie), the director of The Queen of Black Magic is Kimo Stamboel. He is another big part of Indonesian genre film reaching international audiences. Or rather, he’s one half of a duo playing a big part, since they began as “The Mo Brothers” with Timo Tjahjanto being the other “Mo” brother.

They directed movies such as Macabre (2009), Killers (2014), and Headshot (2016). Most recently, they’ve both started directing projects on their own. Timo Tjahjanto directed a segment of the Portals (2019) sci-fi anthology.

No matter the director – though I do want to give Kimo Stamboel credit for doing a good job – this movie does very much feel like a Joko Anwar production. Just like when James Wan hands over the reins to another director, but you still feel his vibe and energy. This is a good thing because they know horror. That’s why you should do yourself a favor and check out this movie on Shudder!

The Queen of Black Magic is out on Shudder from January 28, 2021.


Director: Kimo Stamboel
Writer: Joko Anwar
Cast: Ario Bayu, Hannah Al Rashid, Adhisty Zara, Muzakki Ramdhan


A family travels to the distant, rural orphanage where the father was raised to pay their respects to the facility’s gravely ill director. But his and his best friends’ homecoming turns into a terrifying supernatural ordeal that threatens their and their families’ lives: someone is using dark magic to avenge evil deeds, long-buried but not forgotten.

Stamboel’s film is a reimagining of the 1981 Indonesian horror classic of the same name.

I write reviews and recaps on Heaven of Horror. And yes, it does happen that I find myself screaming, when watching a good horror movie. I love psychological horror, survival horror and kick-ass women. Also, I have a huge soft spot for a good horror-comedy. Oh yeah, and I absolutely HATE when animals are harmed in movies, so I will immediately think less of any movie, where animals are harmed for entertainment (even if the animals are just really good actors). Fortunately, horror doesn't use this nearly as much as comedy. And people assume horror lovers are the messed up ones. Go figure!
Karina "ScreamQueen" Adelgaard
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