After the phenomenal box office success of Munafik, director Syamsul Yusof is convinced the horror movie deserves a sequel. Munafik was released in February 2016 and it grossed over RM19mil from screenings in Malaysia, Singapore and Brunei.
During an interview in Kuala Lumpur recently, Syamsul said he feels the pressure of coming up with a follow-up that could match the movie’s huge success.
“I’m really stressed with Munafik 2. I’ve written a script. Halfway through it, I looked at it and realised that I’m just repeating the same events from the first movie. So I tore it all and decided to start over,” he said.
In Munafik, Syamsul stars as Ustaz Adam, a religious practitioner who comes to the aid of Maria (Nabila Huda), a woman possessed by a demon. At this point of time, Adam is starting to question his faith after the death of his wife in a car accident. He tries to cope with the loss by bonding with his young son. The movie also stars Datuk Rahim Razali, Pekin Ibrahim and Fizz Fairuz.
“Munafik is more than just a horror movie. It’s an exploration of faith and belief. I want to incorporate more Islamic teachings into the sequel. But right now, I feel stuck,” the 31-year-old Syamsul confessed.
Munafik received nine nominations at this year’s Malaysia Film Festival (FFM) including for Best Film, Best Director, Best Visual Effects and Best Actress for Nabila.
“I’m really happy for Nabila. I’m pretty sure she has this one in the bag,” he said.
Syamsul, who is the eldest son of Datuk Yusof Haslam, has quite an impressive track record at FFM having won Best Director twice in 2010 for Evolusi KL Drift and 2011 for KL Gangster. He has picked up the trophy for Best Editing three times. Syamsul admitted that winning awards is the last thing on his mind when making a film. “I’m more concerned about putting out a good movie for the audience.”
Apart from Munafik 2, Syamsul is also working on several movie projects. He is filming KL Special Force, an action movie directed by his younger brother Syafiq. He also revealed that he will be contributing a song to Syafiq’s upcoming movie Desolasi.