Saturday, October 6, 2018

HBO Asia's "Folklore" Horror Anthology Set To Give You Sleepless Nights, Premieres 7 Oct, 10 PM

October is the best season for a nice, spine-chilling scarefest, and HBO Asia will be rewarding horror fans with a 6-episode anthology called "Folklore".

Created by award-winning local director Eric Khoo, "Folklore" is a HBO Asia Original series that brings a modern or updated twist to the classic ghoulies and myths that Asians will be familiar with. The team of directors, specially requested by Eric Khoo to be part of the project, spin creepy tales that possess their own home countries' brand of horror.

Each story will be told in the local language that the episode is based on, and will also provide insights of the social issues that exist in that country.

Six episodes will air each Sunday exclusively on HBO (StarHub TV Ch 601), beginning from 7 October, 10 PM. They will also be available on HBO Go and HBO On Demand (StarHub TV Ch 602).

Non-subscribers of HBO will be able to watch the first episode "Folklore: A Mother's Love" via streaming on HBO GO for free, from 10 PM on October 7.




Here are the synopsis of the 6 episodes:

Ep 1 (7 October) - "Folklore: A Mother's Love", directed by Joko Anwar (Indonesia)
Cast: Marissa Anita, Muzakki Ramdhan 





A single mother's love for her son is tested when she discovered a Wewe Gombel's stash of kidnapped children. With the children taken away from her, the Wewe is out for revenge.


Ep 2 (14 October) - "Folklore: Tatami", directed by Takumi Saitoh (Japan)
Cast: Kazuki Kitamura, Misuzu Kanno, Daisuke Kuroda, Shima Onishi


Flashbacks of childhood years, a hidden room, a tatami and family secrets. A horrifying story unfolds when a mute murder scene writer returns home for his father's funeral.


Ep 3 (21 October) - "Folklore: Nobody", directed by Eric Khoo (Singapore)
Cast: Li Wen Qiang, Maguire Jian, Sivakumar Palakrishnan, Aric Hidir, Louis Wu, Dayang Nurbalqis


The iconic Pontianak is the star of the show as she plagues a construction site with a series of unfortunate events, when the workers decide to bury a dead girl instead of burning her.


Ep 4 (28 October) - "Folklore: Pob", directed by Pen-Ek Ratanaruang (Thailand)
Cast: Nuttapon Sawasdee, Parama Wutthikornditsakul, Thomas Burton Van Blarcom



A blogger meets a cannibal ghost called Pob, who decides to confess about a murder that he had committed, and wants his story to be published.


Ep 5 (4 November) - "Folklore: Toyol", directed by Ho Yuhang (Malaysia)
Cast: Bront Palarae, Nabila Huda, Redza Minhat


An MP meets a female bomoh (shaman) and asks for her to help to solve the fishing town's problems. Unknown to him, she commands a twisted child spirit called a Toyol, to do her bidding.


Ep 6 (11 November) - "Folklore: Mongdal", directed by Lee Sang Woo (Korea)
Cast: Lee Chae-Yeon, Jeong Yun Seok


What is a mother to do when her lonely, borderline psychopathic son has an obsession for the newest girl in town? In this case, even the afterlife is not an obstacle.
 

Both "A Mother's Love" and "Pob" were recently selected in the 43rd Toronto Film Festival held in September - the first time an Asian TV series have been included in the list of shows since the festival's inception for Primetime programmes.

Red Dot Diva caught a few screener episodes, and she can tell you - they are legit scary! (She had a pillow handy to cover her face for some parts. Yes, she's a wimp.)

Ask any Asian and most of them will testify that Asian horror stories are way scarier than Western ones. This is mostly because the supernatural is highly ingrained in Asian culture, psyche and religion. HBO Asia's "Folklore" hits all the right spots in terms of the scare factor, cultural familiarity, and emotional touch points. The stories were well written, deftly directed, and filmed in appropriately eerie settings. Many of the actors did a fine job navigating the tense, suspenseful scenes when the viewer's imagination is already going wild. Kudos especially to Kazuki Kitamura with this nuanced performance in the Japanese episode, "Tatami".


For horror fans - HBO Asia's "Folklore" is a must-watch! Just remember to turn down the lights, and make sure you can squeeze someone's hand when it gets too bone chilling. (But, please also remember to check whose hand you are holding!)


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