Spoiler-Free Reviews: “Indera” and “Help, I’m Alien Pregnant” (Bucheon International Fantastic Film Festival)

July 11, 2024

Written by Joseph Perry

Joseph Perry is the Film Festival Editor for Horror Fuel; all film festival related queries and announcements should be sent to him at josephperry@gmail.com. He is a contributing writer for the "Phantom of the Movies VideoScope" and “Drive-In Asylum” print magazines and the websites Gruesome Magazine, Diabolique Magazine, The Scariest Things, B&S About Movies, and When It Was Cool. He is a co-host of the "Uphill Both Ways" pop culture nostalgia podcast and also writes for its website. Joseph occasionally proudly co-writes articles with his son Cohen Perry, who is a film critic in his own right. A former northern Californian and Oregonian, Joseph has been teaching, writing, and living in South Korea since 2008.

Indera (Malaysia, 2024)

Although Malaysian horror Indera is, according to the official film description, “set against the backdrop of the violent Memali Incident in 1985,” director Ming Jin Woo’s feature should work fine for viewers with little-to-no prior knowledge of the event. Handyman Joe (Shaheizy Sam) does his best to raise his young daughter Sofia (Samara Kenzo) after her mother (Ashira Shafinaz) — who was also his wife — died in a tragic accident. Penniless and evicted, Joe takes on the position of caretaker for an older Javanese woman (Ruminah Sidek) who is raising three young orphans. The locals give the woman a wide berth for mysterious reasons. Fans of supernatural cinema should find plenty to be impressed with here, with top-notch performances from the main cast members, and although Indera contains some tried-and-true horror tropes, it puts an intriguing local flavor on matters, and Woo directs with a fine sense of building mystery and delivering chills.

Help, I’m Alien Pregnant (New Zealand, 2024)

New Zealand has a well-earned reputation for crafting outrageous horror comedies, and codirecting duo Thunderlips (Sean Wallace and Jordan Mark Widnsor) deliver the country’s latest gag-inducing gagfest with the short film Help, I’m Alien Pregnant. Mary (Hannah Lynch) isn’t being taken seriously when she brings her concerns about internal issues to the dismissive Dr. Bronwyn (Tandi Wright). Mary’s possibly extraterrestrial lover Boo (Arlo Gibson) isn’t much help, either, as he is highly reluctant to show his wedding tackle to the doctor. Matters build up to a highly gooey climax. The cast goes all in on fun performances, including Amelia Reynolds as a fellow patient and the only person of real assistance to Mary. Thunderlips shows a lot of promise with Help, I’m Alien Pregnant, and the highly entertaining short feels like a promising project that could be expanded into a feature film.

Indera and Help, I’m Alien Pregnant screen as part of South Korea’s Bucheon International Fantastic Film Festival (BIFAN), which runs July 4–14, 2024.  For more info, check out their website at https://www.bifan.kr/eng/.


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