HBO Asia horror anthology series FOLKLORE returns for a second season

Six Asian directors take fear to another level in the new season

HBO Asia Original horror anthology series Folklore, which features deeply rooted superstitions and myths across Asia,ramps up the fear factor with the return of a second season. The new six-episode season premieres November 14 at 10pm exclusively on HBO GO and HBO. A new episode will debut every Sunday at the same time.

Folklore Season 2 continues to dive into Asia’s myriad of traditions and beliefs. Set in six different Asian territories – Taiwan, Japan, Thailand, the Philippines, Indonesia and Singapore, the series examines the human condition when exposed to supernatural phenomena in a mind-bending race against oneself with each story providing a different take and perspective. Each episode is directed by a local director from that territory.

Directors for this season include Shih-Han Liao from Taiwan, Seiko Matsuda from Japan, Sittisiri Mongkolsiri from Thailand, Erik Matti from the Philippines, Billy Christian from Indonesia and Nicole Midori Woodford from Singapore. Singapore’s award-winning filmmaker Eric Khoo returns as the showrunner.

Highlighting female directors from the region, Japanese pop superstar Seiko Matsuda makes her directorial debut, drawing from personal experience to present an original concept featuring a haunted Japanese idol, while Singaporean director Nicole Midori Woodford’s episode speaks to dealing with family trauma.

Folklore Season 2 also features an ensemble cast from all over Asia. The stellar line-up includes Vivian Sung Yun-Hwa (“Our Times”, “Lost Romance”), Wu Kang-Ren (HBO Asia Original series “The World Between Us”, “A Touch of Green”), Win Morisaki (“Ready Player One”, “Honki No Shirushi” (The Real Thing)), Jennis Oprasert (“Where We Belong”), Dolly de Leon (“Verdict”, “Midnight in a Perfect World”), Lydia Kando (“Boneka dari Indiana” (Doll from Indiana), “Kejarlah Jodoh Kau Kutangkap”) and Mindee Ong (“881”, “The Transcend”) in leading roles in the respective episodes. Produced with the support of the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA), Folklore is HBO Asia’s very first horror anthology original series. Various episodes of Folklore Season 1 were screened at numerous major international film festivals including Toronto International Film Festival (Toronto, Canada), SITGES International Fantastic Film Festival of Catalonia (Barcelona, Spain), Fantastic Fest (Texas, USA), Scream Fest (Singapore), Five Flavours Asian Film Festival (Warsaw, Poland), Asian World Film Fest (California, USA), Geneva International Film Festival (Geneva Switzerland), Trieste Science+Fiction Festival (Trieste, Italy), Philadelphia Asian Film Festival (Philadelphia, USA), San Diego Asian Film Festival (San Diego, USA), CinemAsia International Festival (Amsterdam, Netherlands), Festival Series Mania (Lille, France), Tokyo International Film Festival (Tokyo, Japan), and Ehime International Film Festival (Ehime, Japan).

Episode Guide for Folklore Season 2

The Rope, premieres Sunday, November 14 at 10pm on HBO GO and HBO

Directed by: Shih-Han Liao (Taiwan) | Cast: Vivian Sung (Sung Yun-Hwa), Wu Kang-Ren

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A newly-wed woman is walking home alone after a joyous wedding ceremony when she gets caught in a purification ritual performed for suicide victims. The ritual officers warn her that she will need to follow the ritual, or she will be cursed. However, she runs away despite their warning. Her life is turned upside down with strange phenomena and disturbing hauntings. Fearing that she has been cursed, she seeks aid from the Master of the purification ritual who confirms her worst fears. However, there’s more to the situation than meets the eye and she needs to get to the bottom of the mystery before it destroys her completely.

The Day the Wind Blew, premieres Sunday, November 21 at 10pm on HBO GO and HBO 

Directed by: Seiko Matsuda (Japan) | Cast: Win Morisaki, Haori Takahashi

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Mika is a schoolgirl who meets the man of her dreams – Ken, her favourite singer. As she takes her seat at Ken’s concert, nothing could be more perfect. Not only is she witness to a performance that is everything she’s expected and more, it seems he’s actually taken an interest in her. But something seems amiss. Ever since the day of the concert, a cold wind has stalked the woman’s path as her dream encounter is marred by a bone-chilling presence. What appears to be the beginning of a fairy tale love can only be described as a fable destined for a hellish end.

Broker Of Death, premieres Sunday, November 28 at 10pm on HBO GO and HBO

Directed by: Sittisiri Mongkolsiri (Thailand) Cast: Natee Ngamnaewprom (Ton), Jennis Oprasert

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Manop is a 45-year-old single father who owns an amulet shop. It doesn’t pay him well, especially when he has to pay for his daughter’s exorbitant medical bills. In fact, his main source of income comes from being a “Broker of Death” – someone who trades in corpses. One day, he is told to pick up a dead body. The corpse is to be a part of the ritual so that a wealthy politician can have more power. Manop has to choose between two frightening options – ghost haunting or poverty.

7 Days Of Hell, premieres Sunday, December 5 at 10pm on HBO GO and HBO

Directed by: Erik Matti (Philippines) | Cast: Dolly de Leon, Roshson Barman

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A righteous policewoman and mother races against time to save her son when he falls dangerously ill from an unknown cause. When her son is given only a few weeks to live, she discovers that his illness is of supernatural origin and that a powerful sorcerer has cursed him. The only way for her son to survive is for him to apologise and make amends to the sorcerer. As the clock ticks, she is sent on a desperate quest to save her son.

Grandma’s Kiss, premieres Sunday, December 12 at 10pm on HBO GO and HBO

Directed by: Billy Christian (Indonesia) | Cast: Lydia Kandou, Ken Zuraida

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Marni is a new resident at a nursing home, having been left there by her daughter. She feels abandoned and longs for her old life. She suspects that her roommate Ningsih might be a supernatural being – a Palasik – haunting the home and able to make any wish come true if caught. Will Marni use the Palasik to get what she desires – her old life back?

The Excursion, premieres Sunday, December 19 at 10pm on HBO GO and HBO

Directed by: Nicole Midori Woodford (Singapore) | Cast: Mindee Ong, Ethan Ng, Darren Lim

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A troubled mother is depressed and suffering from insomnia. Her husband is never at home and her son talks to an imaginary friend Under immense stress, she starts to see a ghostly, somehow familiar figure in her house. Her son’s erratic behaviour becomes dangerous and life-threatening. Can she save her son and her family before it’s too late?

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Details, video and images provided by HBO in a recent press release.


All 6 Episodes From HBO Asia’s FOLKLORE Will Each Debut Globally at Major International Film Festivals

All six episodes from HBO Asia’s very first horror anthology original series, FOLKLORE (#FolkloreHBO), will each be making its global debut at major International film festivals including Toronto International Film Festival (Toronto, Canada), SITGES International Fantastic Film Festival of Catalonia (Barcelona, Spain) and Fantastic Fest (Texas, USA). FOLKLORE 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 a modern adaptation of 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.

“We are pleased and honoured that FOLKLORE is being featured and recognised at these reputable International film festivals,” says CEO of HBO Asia, Mr. Jonathan Spink. He further adds, “FOLKLORE showcases the rich and diverse cultural heritage that Asia has to offer. Horror is a genre that resonates strongly in Asia and we are glad to be able to spotlight these six tales with a modern twist and bring them to life to audiences in the rest of the world.”

The prestigious 43rd Toronto International Film Festival® (TIFF) will be featuring FOLKLORE: A MOTHER’S LOVE from Indonesian director Joko Anwar (“Halfworlds”, “Satan’s Slave”) and FOLKLORE: POB, directed by Pen-Ek Ratanaruang (“Samui Song”, “Last Life in the Universe”) from Thailand. This is the first time an Asian TV series has been officially selected since the inception of Primetime programme at TIFF since 2015.

Episodic Synopses:

  • FOLKLORE: A MOTHER’S LOVE (Indonesia) – 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.
  • FOLKLORE: POB (Thailand) – 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.

The SITGES International Fantastic Film Festival of Catalonia (SITGES) will be featuring FOLKLORE: NOBODY directed by award-winning Singaporean filmmaker and series showrunner, Eric Khoo (“Ramen Teh”, “12 Storeys”) and FOLKLORE: TATAMI from Japanese director and actor, Takumi Saitoh (“Blank 13”, “Ramen Teh”).

Episodic Synopses:

  • FOLKLORE: NOBODY (Singapore) – A Pontianak, the vengeful spirit of a woman who died during childbirth, 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.
  • FOLKLORE: TATAMI (Japan) – 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.

The largest genre film festival in the U.S. specialising in horror, fantasy, sci-fi and action, Fantastic Fest, will also be featuring two episodes from FOLKLORE. FOLKLORE: MONGDAL from Korean director Lee Sang-Woo (“Barbie”, “Fire In Hell”, “Dirty Romance”) and FOLKLORE: TOYOL directed by Malaysian director Ho Yuhang (“Rain Dogs”, “Mrs. K”) will both be debuting at the festival.

Episodic Synopses:

  • FOLKLORE: MONGDAL (Korea) – 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: TOYOL (Malaysia) – 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.

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.

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.

FOLKLORE premieres exclusively on HBO on Sunday, October 7 at 10pm. New episodes will debut at the same time every Sunday. The series will also be streaming on HBO GO.  In the Philippines, access to HBO Go is exclusive to SKY subscribers.

Show details and images provided by HBO in a recent press release.

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