×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Toronto: ‘Folklore’ Gives Primetime Festival Slot to Asian Horror

Anthology horror series “Folklore” will become the first Asian TV show to play in the Toronto Film Festival’s Primetime section. Primetime was launched in 2015 to reflect the trend toward original content production by broadcasters and streaming platforms.

Two episodes of the HBO Asia-backed show will screen this week. Singapore-based showrunner Eric Khoo and co-director Pen-Ek Ratanaruang (“Last Life in the Universe”) will be in attendance.

“Horror from this part of the world is so mesmerizing. Some elements are very scary. Others are more sad,” Khoo told Variety. “Joko Anwar’s recent film ‘Satan’s Slaves’ shows that Indonesia has some really creepy horror. Location and sense of place lends a lot to the genre. The Japanese and Indonesian episodes (of the series) are so completely different. But they both have a paranormal solidity, and really pack a punch.”

Anwar’s “Folklore” episode “A Mother’s Love” screens in Toronto and stars Marissa Anita and Muzakki Ramdhan as a single mother and her young son who discover a group of dirty and underfed children living in a mansion’s attic. Although the woman does not know it, by helping out she has snatched the children from their adoptive mother and will have to pay a price.

Ratanaruang’s “Pob” involves an encounter between a foreign man and a Thai ghost who confesses to a murder. “There are moments of situation comedy, another part more like ‘Interview With the Vampire,’ and another side involves role reversal. I like the idea that even after we are dead, Thai people are still scared of farang (Westerners),” said Ratanaruang. “I’d call it more a ghost film than a horror picture.”

Ratanaruang says he appreciated the simplicity of the greenlighting and budget process for “Folklore.” “(Complete) creative freedom is over-rated,” he said. “But I want to be the person pushing me, not somebody else. With this project I knew exactly what I had to deliver.”

Khoo also directed one of the six episodes. His “Nobody,” not screening in Toronto, depicts the consequences which follow when a foreman and a construction worker fail to properly dispose of a woman’s body. Other episodes are shot by Japan’s Takumi Saitoh, Korea’s Lee Sang-Woo and Malaysia’s Ho Yuhang.

The full six-part series will begin to be available Oct. 7 on HBO Asia, which commissioned and invested in the series. New episodes will be introduced on subsequent Sundays, with the season also uploading to streaming service HBO Go and HBO On Demand.

More TV

  • Tim Cook Oprah Winfrey Steven Spielberg

    Apple Sits Out This Emmy Season, but Get Ready for a Frenzy of Contenders in 2020

    Apple won’t be entering the Emmy race this year — but get ready for 2020. The tech giant’s not-so-surprise launch of its new Apple TV+ video service on Monday included a hefty roster of top producing and acting talent that will immediately make the service an awards contender when it launches in the fall. That [...]

  • Oprah Apple TV Plus

    Apple's Cavalcade of Stars Sets High Expectations (Column)

    Apple’s March 25 conference announcing various new services — including their upcoming passel of video content — was heavy on grandeur and light on specifics. Company CEO Tim Cook described the company’s move into television as part of an ongoing commitment not merely to diversion and customer satisfaction but to social change. “Apple has always [...]

  • Art Malik2017 Costa Book of The

    Hannah Simone's ABC Pilot Casts Art Malik in Lead Role (EXCLUSIVE)

    Hannah Simone’s comedy pilot at ABC has cast one of its lead roles. Variety has learned exclusively that Art Malik has signed on to star opposite Simone in the single-camera comedy. In the project, Hannah (Simone) and her Indian-American immigrant father Sid (Malik) have always been close, but after she admits to herself that she’s [...]

  • Apple TV Plus Reese Witherspoon Jennifer

    Apple Unveils First Look Footage From Its Original Shows (Watch)

    At a special event in Cupertino, Apple unveiled its Apple TV+ streaming service, and with it a short clip of some footage from its slate of upcoming original shows. One of the main originals teased was “The Morning Show,” a series which “offers an inside look at the lives of the people who help America [...]

  • 'Pretty Little Liars' presentation

    I. Marlene King Exits Warner Bros. TV for Overall Deal at 20th Century Fox

    I. Marlene King has signed a new multi-year deal at 20th Century Fox Television, exiting her longtime studio home of Warner Bros. Television. King will develop, write, produce, and direct new projects for network, cable, and streaming under the new deal via her Long Lake Media banner. Long Lake’s executive vice president of development Lauren [...]

  • 9-1-1: Angela Bassett. CR: Mathieu Young

    '9-1-1' and 'The Resident' Renewed for Third Seasons at Fox

    Both “9-1-1” and “The Resident” will be returning for third seasons on Fox, Variety has learned. The news comes as the two shows, which are paired together on Monday nights, are on course to finish with solid ratings in their sophomore seasons. “’9-1-1 redefined’ what a procedural series can be, consistently delivering edge-of-your-seat emergencies, mixed with emotional [...]

  • Studios Spurn WGA Request to Ban

    Studios Reject WGA Request to Ban Non-Franchised Talent Agents

    Studios have rejected a request by the Writers Guild of America to bar talent agents if the current franchise agreement expires on April 7, saying it could expose them to extensive legal damages. The WGA will hold five days of member voting starting March 27 on a proposed “code of conduct” eliminating agency packaging fees [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content