The Queen of Black Magic review – a terrifying horror experience

By Jonathon Wilson
Published: January 25, 2021 (Last updated: December 30, 2023)
The Queen of Black Magic review – a terrifying horror experience


Indonesian horror that will give us non-stop scares and leave you terrified from the bones creaking and cracking throughout the film.

This is a spoiler-free review of The Queen of Black Magic that is coming to Shudder on January 28th, 2021. The film comes from Headshot director Kimo Stanboel and is written by Impetigore director Joko Anwar, one of the biggest names in Indonesian cinema. Starring Impetigore star Ario Bayu and The Night Comes for Us star Hannah Al Rashid in the leading roles.

The Queen of Black Magic follows a family — Hanif (Ario Bayu), his wife Nadya (Hannah Al Rashid), and their children Dina (Adhisty Zara), Haqi (Muzakki Ramdhan), and Sandi (Ari Irham) — as they head to the orphanage which raised Hanif to pay respect to the man that helped raise them, meeting Hanif’s best friends from his time there, Anton (Tanta Ginting) and Jefri (Miller Khan). As the group gets to catch up, they start to find themselves experiencing horrific moments around the orphanage, with Hanif learning the shocking truth about what has happened in the orphanage while he was away.

The Queen of Black Magic uses the story to take us into the world of reunion and revenge, as the past will look to catch up on people who are attending this reunion. It will start smoothly enough, with plenty of meet and greets between friends, wives, and family, before we get into the truth about the orphanage. We do get the truth about the opening car journey, which gets revealed to us, but it is only the beginning of something more shocking. The story gives us a chance to experience the sudden changes the people involved go through, seeing the Queen of Black Magic working her magic on the people to feed her blood lust. The story is paced well, giving us time to meet the characters before turning to the horror side, giving us brief glimpses instead of a sudden jump scare. This is a story you can get invested in before needing to worry about the horror, which will give us another great addition to the story, leaving us wanting to look away, only we can’t.

The Queen of Black Magic‘s whole cast adds to the fear, with Ario Bayu showing us a man that needs to protect his family, only he gets caught up trying to remember the past. Hannah Al Rashid will show us the desperate mother who will do anything to protect her family, offering up the smarter solutions to what is going on too. Nobody looks out of place in this film, even the timid characters, helping bring mystery to what we are experiencing.

The Queen of Black Magic does give us some terrifying scares, with the one where Haqi, the youngest son, is watching television one of the scariest scenes in the film, with the cracking and creaking body parts being left as a lasting memory after the film finished. While that moment might well be the truly scariest, we aren’t going to be disappointed with what we see from the other scares, that will leave us just as terrified by what we end up seeing.

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