A father wakes up in the middle of the woods in a hole in the ground, covered in dirt. His last memory is of a vacation with his family. As he start recollecting his memories and finding his way back, he realizes that his family was attacked by a maniac, and now his two children are gone.
This Indonesian director has a few features under his belt, but "Modus Anomali" is the one that seems to have gotten most recognition in the horror world (maybe because only two of his movies would count as horror). Unlike "Pintu terlarang" ("The Forbidden Door"), this movie is shot in English, which might explain part of it. "Modus Anomali" is a slasher movie with a twist (or several). It's not your typical stalking killer, nor is it based on real life serial killers.
The movie starts off with a man - a father - who wakes up in a dirt hole in the woods. He has lost his memory and has to retrieve his steps only to find evidence of an attack against his family. A strange man is lurking in the woods, but this movie puts more effort on the lead trying to remember and finding his children. It does this in a slow manner, and finally throws quite a large twist our way.
I'll admit that getting through the movie was a bit hard. I quickly found myself bored without actually being able to tell you why. The plot isn't terrible, but how it's presented gave me little excitement. Minus a few thrilling scenes and some gore, there isn't a whole lot to get you involved. Much of this due to certain stupid choices made while making the movie - such as when you're running from a maniac, don't have your huge fucking handheld spotlight on. Don't get me started on the dialog. The actor's English isn't horrible, but the dialog is quite laughable. An example that stood out for me was this: "That's enough of your whining, you're a man! Wanna just let dad die? He's very nice to us." Yes, dad shouldn't die because he is nice, okay!?
The major twist in the movie did add some entertainment to it, but it is a bit strange and it takes a bit of time to adjust to it. I wouldn't be surprised if they came up with the twist as they went on, but in the end I was just glad that it had some change to it. It had gotten to the point of where I didn't even care when the worst of things happened, so I'd say change is very good.
"Modus Anomali" isn't a poor production at all. It has some solid locations, the effects look good enough, the actors aren't too bad (despite the horrible script - they should've done the movie in their native language), the ideas and twists are at least different. The errors are all going down to the script and how it was all layed out. Twists are rarely effective if you've gotten bored, good actors can't always save terrible dialog.
It's good to see countries break out a bit. Making the movie in English most likely helped this Indonesian get accepted easier, but unfortunately it would have been better to have it in its native language. I do hope to see more from the director, and might go back to his previous movies, because it does have good ideas in the bottom of it all. Perhaps he's a better director than he is a script writer too. I couldn't get into "Modus Anomali" at all, it just didn't entertain me, but I think it's worth giving it your time if you can get past some of the dialog and just sit back to enjoy the mystery. I obviously couldn't.