Judging from the bouts of hysterical laughter heard during the media screening of Hantu Kak Limah (HKL), this latest Mamat Khalid flick seems destined to be another comedy juggernaut.
The horror-comedy opens with the titular character moving into a new home after getting married to Khuda, a younger man with a mysterious past. Not long after, Kak Limah is found dead and her spirit begins to terrorise the inhabitants of Kampung Pisang.
The film series has done quite well over the years, with its most successful instalment Hantu Kak Limah Balik Rumah raking in RM7.9mil in ticket sales in 2010.
The success of the films have to do with director Mamat’s ability to write simple-hearted, everyday characters and let the humour fall naturally off their lips.
The new film is no different. The new characters, who each have their own idiosyncrasies, exude a certain charm and are endearing to watch.
The laughs come when the characters are simply speaking their minds, which give way to the silliest, most irreverent lines.
Despite the fact that many of the past cast members aren’t in this movie, the new characters here manage to hold their own and deliver a rib-tickling movie experience.
For instance, Zul Ariffin – who is known for playing a slew of tough guy, action-packed roles – is surprisingly good in his first comedic role as the muscle-bound silat guru Solihin. Solihin is all brawn at first glance but turns out to be a bit of a scaredy-cat when Kak Limah’s spirit strikes.
It’s also worth mentioning the cinematography on HKL. Produced by Infinitus Gold and Astro Shaw, it is absolutely stunning and is something to be proud of, considering the film was shot just 10 months ago and it’s already out in cinemas.
One of the criticisms the film might face is that there isn’t much in the way of storyline in HKL. But then again, Mamat has a way of finding humour even in the simplest of circumstances.
There’s a scene early on in the film where the power goes off in a clinic which houses Kak Limah’s body. Nayan, who is all alone in the clinic with the corpse, shudders and emotes a host of facial expressions that you can’t help but laugh. Played memorably by Ropie, the character goes on to deliver some of the film’s funniest moments.
It goes to show that you don’t need a whole lot going on in a movie, just good writing and a talented cast.
Although HKL has a standalone story that viewers can easily get into, there are references that will fly over your head if you haven’t seen the previous films.
Still, for fans of the Kampung Pisang-set films, if it’s laughter you’ve come to find, then indeed, laughter is what you’ll get.
Hantu Kak Limah
Director: Mamat Khalid
Cast: Awie, Delimawati, Rab Khalid, TJ Isa, Sharwani, Ropie, Zul Ariffin, Uqasha Senrose