MALAYSIA, SEPTEMBER 6, 2018 – HBO Asia’s very first horror anthology original series, FOLKLORE (#FolkloreHBO), is a six-episode hour-long horror series that takes place across six Asian countries – Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand – with each episode based on each country’s deeply-rooted myths and folklore, featuring supernatural beings and occult beliefs. Helmed by different directors from various countries in Asia, each episode was filmed in the local language of the country that the episode is based in. FOLKLORE seeks to modernise or update Asian horror, showcasing the brand of horror that each country is characteristic of and exploring societal dysfunctions in a manner that is specific to the country but possessing themes that will resonate across the continent. FOLKLORE premieres on Sunday, October 7 at 10pm exclusively on HBO (Astro Ch 411 / 431 HD). New episodes will debut at the same time every Sunday. The series will also be available on HBO On Demand (via Astro Go).
FOLKLORE is an HBO Asia Original series produced and created by award-winning Singaporean film maker, Eric Khoo. The six directors involved in FOLKLORE are Joko Anwar (HBO Asia’s “Halfworlds”, “Satan’s Slave”) from Indonesia, Takumi Saitoh (“Blank 13”, “Ramen Teh”) from Japan, Lee Sang-Woo (“Barbie”, “Fire In Hell”, “Dirty Romance”) from Korea, Ho Yuhang (“Rain Dogs”, “Mrs. K”) from Malaysia, Eric Khoo (“Ramen Teh”, “12 Storeys”) from Singapore and Pen-Ek Ratanaruang (“Samui Song”, “Last Life in the Universe”) from Thailand.
FOLKLORE also features an ensemble cast from all over Asia. Most notably, Japanese actor, Kazuki Kitamura (“Godzilla: Final Wars”, “Kill Bill: Volumes 1 & 2”), Malaysian actor, Bront Palarae (HBO Asia’s “Halfworlds Seasons 1 & 2”, “Satan’s Slave”) and Korean actress, Lee Chae-Yeon (“Running Man”, “Please Find Her”, “Blow Breeze”) will each star as lead roles in their respective episodes.
Episode Guide for FOLKLORE:
Episode #1: “Folklore: A Mother’s Love”
Debut date: Sunday, October 7 at 10pm on HBO (Astro Ch 411 / 431 HD)
Directed by: Joko Anwar (Indonesia)
Cast: Marissa Anita, Muzakki Ramdhan
A single mother and her young son discover a group of dirty and underfed children living in a mansion’s attic. Upon saving them and returning them to their families, she has unknowingly snatched these children from their adopted mother – Wewe Gombel – and must now beware her vengeful wrath.
Episode #2: “Folklore: Tatami”
Debut date: Sunday, October 14 at 10pm on HBO (Astro Ch 411 / 431 HD)
Directed by: Takumi Saitoh (Japan)
Cast: Kazuki Kitamura, Misuzu Kanno, Daisuke Kuroda, Shima Onishi
A murder scene writer returns home to attend his father’s funeral and begins to experience constant flashbacks of his childhood. He then discovers a secret door in the house that leads to a room that hides a horrifying secret from his family’s past.
Episode #3: “Folklore: Nobody”
Debut date: Sunday, October 21 at 10pm on HBO (Astro Ch 411 / 431 HD)
Directed by: Eric Khoo (Singapore)
Cast: Li Wen Qiang, Maguire Jian, Sivakumar Palakrishnan, Aric Hidir, Louis Wu, Dayang Nurbalqis
A Pontianak is awakened when a foreman and a construction worker attempt to bury the body of a dead girl instead of burning her. A series of unfortunate events begin to occur at the construction site.
Episode #4: “Folklore: Pob”
Debut date: Sunday, October 28 at 10pm on HBO (Astro Ch 411 / 431 HD)
Directed by: Pen-Ek Ratanaruang (Thailand)
Cast: Nuttapon Sawasdee, Parama Wutthikornditsakul, Thomas Burton Van Blarcom
A journalist meets with Pob, a Thai ghost, who confesses to a murder. Finally finding an outlet for complaint, Pob explains how the murder happened and requests for his story to be published. However, the journalist declines and the two make a deal of a lifetime.
Episode #5: “Folklore: Toyol”
Debut date: Sunday, November 4 at 10pm on HBO (Astro Ch 411 / 431 HD)
Directed by: Ho Yuhang (Malaysia)
Cast: Bront Palarae, Nabila Huda, Redza Minhat
A Member of Parliament (MP) of a fishing town turns to a mysterious woman who possesses shamanistic powers in order to salvage his town’s dire economic situation. She fixes all his problems and the two soon become lovers. However, the woman has a dark secret that threatens to destroy his life.
Episode #6: “Folklore: Mongdal”
Debut date: Sunday, November 11 at 10pm on HBO (Astro Ch 411 / 431 HD)
Directed by: Lee Sang Woo (Korea)
Cast: Lee Chae-Yeon, Jeong Yun Seok
A mother tries to appease the moods and demands of her borderline psychopathic son. When a new girl comes to town, her son falls quickly and deeply for the new girl and is determined to win her over possibly even against her will. When things take a tragic turn, his mother will stop at nothing to make her son happy even if it means finding a bride to join him in the afterlife.
“Folklore: A Mother’s Love” from Indonesian director Joko Anwar and “Folklore: Pob”, directed by Pen-Ek Ratanaruang from Thailand have recently been selected for the prestigious 43rd Toronto International Film Festival® (TIFF). This is the first time an Asian TV series has been officially selected since the inception of Primetime programme at TIFF since 2015. The Primetime programme channels the best international television fit for the silver screen, focusing on powerful, small-screen storytelling that pushes the boundaries of original scripted series and episodic programming.
HBO Asia started producing its Original productions in 2012 and has since expanded their range of Asian Original productions to include series, movies and documentaries. FOLKLORE marks the network’s twelfth Asian Original to date, with more slated to premiere in the coming years. Other upcoming Asian Original productions by HBO Asia include GRISSE – an eight-part hour-long period drama series set in the mid 1800’s within the colonial period of the Dutch East Indies and THE WORLD BEHIND THE TEENAGE PSYCHIC – an hour-long Mandarin documentary that seeks to delve deeper into the unique shamanistic practices during the Ghost Month in Taiwan.
FOLKLORE premieres on Sunday, October 7 at 10pm exclusively on HBO (Astro Ch 411 / 431 HD). New episodes will debut at the same time every Sunday. The series will also be available on HBO On Demand (via Astro Go).