Hello, boils and ghouls, Eric Khoo and HBO Asia have something terrifying lined up for your viewing displeasure next month, just in time for Halloween.
Called Folklore, it’s a six-part horror anthology, with each standalone episode based on the superstitions and myths from each director’s country (Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Korea, Japan and Thailand). When creator and showrunner Eric Khoo first pitched the series to HBO, he had one condition: each ep has to be in the main language of the country. No English, please.
“The scares will be better,” said Khoo at a HBO Asia event last year. “Culturally and aesthetically, it would also work much better,” he added. “If you see a Japanese horror film and they’re speaking English, it’s going to look like a joke. With certain horror films from Asia, like Thai horror films, it is very important the way the characters speak and emote.” Amen to that.
Of the six stories, the ones to look out for are Indonesia’s A Mother’s Love and Thailand’s Pob — they will have their world premieres at the 43rd Toronto International Film Festival. It’s the first time an Asian TV series has been officially selected since the Primetime Program was made part of the festival in 2015. Power.
Folklore premieres Oct 7, HBO (StarHub Ch 601), 10pm. It will also be streaming on HBO Go and will be available on HBO On Demand (StarHub TV Ch 602). Here's a look at what the horror stories are about.
Photos: Eric Khoo portrait by Kelvin Chia; HBO Asia