If you're a fan of a good fright coupled with cultural learnings from across the Asian continent, then you're going to love FOLKLORE from HBO Asia.
You know that we love to spend time in front of the screen: big and small. From classic Hong Kong movies to trashy TV shows and stand-up comedy specials, there’s always so much to watch and so little time. And HBO Asia has just released its first ever horror anthology, that spans six different countries throughout Asia. Here’s what we think of the series in this FOLKLORE review.
HBO Asia is bringing the supernatural to the small screen this month courtesy of FOLKLORE, its first ever horror anthology. Each story takes place in one of six Asian countries: Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand, with each episode based on a deeply-rooted myth from each location.
What’s really cool about this idea, is that each episode is helmed by different directors from across Asia, and filmed in the local language, allowing the viewer to be introduced to brands of horror specific to each country, while still discussing themes relevant to any continent.
FOLKLORE: A Mother’s Love
The first in the series that screens every Sunday is A Mother’s Love, written and directed by Indonesian director Joko Anwar. Set in Jakarta, the story tells the tale of a forlorn single mother and her young son. After being evicted from their apartment, they discover a group of children living in the attic of the mansion they are cleaning. While the mother seemingly does the right thing by getting the police involved, strange things start happening and Wewe Gombel (an unsettled spirit) begins to enter their life and disrupt things even further.
FOLKLORE: A Mother’s Love is wonderfully told with great cinematography and stellar performances by both Marissa Anita and Muzakki Ramdhan. As the young son Jodi, Ramdhan is highly believable and gives a memorable performance next to Anita. Personally, I’d have loved to have found out a bit more about the Wewe Gombel spirit and how it is typically viewed in Indonesian culture, but it’s quite hard to fit a lot of backstory into a 48-minute episode.
I’m definitely going to be tuning in for more from FOLKLORE.