Drawing inspirations from those horror movies made in Thailand, Syamsul Yusof's KHURAFAT (or "BLASPHEMOUS" in English) is his first attempt to tackle such genre. The result is a decent, if utterly formulaic horror thriller that still managed to rake a lot of money with RM8.08 million in the local box-office.
Johan (Syamsul Yusof) is a coroner who just got married to a decent girl named Aishah (Liyana Jasmay). But their peaceful married life suffered from otherworldly disturbance following a strange death of a possessed uncle named Pak Aziz (A. Galak) in Johan's village. That's not all, as Johan is frequently being harassed by his estranged ex-girlfriend Anna (Sabrina Ali), who refuses to give up on him and will do anything to get him back at all cost. Soon a series of strange and horrifying occurrences plagued against both Johan and Aishah, and they begin to suspect it has something to do with Anna at the first place.
For the major part of the movie, KHURAFAT tells the story in a simple and straightforward manner that writer-director Syamsul Yusof keeps everything as cliched as possible. There's nothing new or refreshing here most horror movie fans have already seen before. It comes to no surprise that the horror elements are mostly repetitive with typical jump scares that involved with the ever-present, long-haired ghost. Still Yusof should be given a credit for at least putting some effort on amplified the formulaic scares with fairly effective sound effect. The rest of the technical values are equally decent, even though there's a few gripes about the way how cinematographer Omar Ismail relying heavily on blue filter and some less-than-engaging camerawork to enhance the horror factor. Acting parts are average at best, with Syamsul Yusof still have much to improve as an actor.
But for all the achievements this movie is trying to excel, KHURAFAT earns extra credit for its effective double twist towards its climactic finale. Not bad for a first-timer who never direct a horror movie before.