Monday, November 16, 2015

HBO Asia's Jakarta-based Supernatural Thriller "Halfworlds" To Premiere on 29 November 2015

Cable channel HBO Asia has been busy these past few years!

Their latest Asian-based production, "Halfworlds" is set for a premiere date on 29 November 2015.

"Halfworlds" is HBO Asia's fourth production and Red Dot Diva really appreciates their constant effort to create as well as develop stories that are recognizably Asian but are also set to appeal to a wider audience. For those who have not caught up with HBO Asia's recent works, their first original title was "Dead Mine" in 2012, followed by their first prime-time series "Serangoon Road" and a four-part horror mini series "Grace".

An eight-episode supernatural thriller set in the dark and mysterious alleys of Jakarta, "Halfworlds" is about the Demits - a host of demons huddled in a covert society, who have lived among humans for centuries. When Sarah, a street artist uncovers the secret and tips the balance, a chain of events sets off, leading to a clash between the two sides. 

Salvita Decorte as Sarah
The series is directed by Indonesian filmmaker Joko Anwar and features an ensemble cast of lead Asian (well, mainly Indonesian) actors. Salvita Decorte takes the leading role of heroine Sarah, and joins many fellow Indonesia actors including Arifin Putra ("The Raid 2"), Reza Rahadian and Ario Bayu ("Serangoon Road"). Singaporean Nathan Hartono and Malaysian actor Bronte Palarae are also part of the cast. 8-year-old Puteri Balqis, who hails from Malaysia and who was the best actress winner of the 2014 Asian Television Awards, will also guest star in the series.

During the inaugural Jakarta Comic Con held on 26 September, director Joko Anwar and cast members introduced the series to fans at a panel. The lucky fans were also given a treat to a special screening of the first episode of "Halfworlds". Word is, the series is akin to an "Indonesian Buffy"??

Adinia Wirasti as Nadia (she looks like a demon. Is she one?)

The premise is not unfamiliar to those who indulge in TV shows coming from the USA, Canada or the UK. However, Asian faces that are identifiable to regional fans is the novelty here. One thing that Red Dot Diva knows is that the South-East Asian folks love their horror, supernatural stories, so she thinks a more significant audience would enjoy "Halfworlds".

Take a peek of what "Halfworlds" is about from the trailer here:

There are some kick-ass fight moves in the trailer as the demons are on the hunt for Sarah, and Red Dot Diva surmises that there is some love triangle going on as well. Hopefully, that part of the story doesn't come off as trite and cheesy. No complaints about the handsome, broody, mysterious Oliver Queen-like guy in the hood though.

Arifin Putra is Barata
If you are worried about language, rest assured that most of the dialogue is in English, with a fair bit of dialogue in Bahasa Indonesia. From the trailer, the enunciation of English by the actors seems unclear. She hopes that she is wrong in that aspect. On the other hand, she is looking forward to that bit of South-East Asian authenticity that is rarely seen on regional / international cable TV.

Overall, the production looks promising, and she intends to catch the series when it premieres across Asia on 29 November. New episodes will air weekly, which helps to keep the momentum of a story going.

For those who prefer to watch their shows digitally, HBO Asia will be streaming the first episode on Facebook immediately after it airs on cable! The series consists of 8 episodes; each one is 30 minutes long.

Other content about the show will also be posted their regularly. So, remember to check in to the "Halfworlds" Facebook page at for updates.

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