It’s Time to Watch Teluh Darah (Disney+)!
Based on the first two episodes of Teluh Darah, this review.
Asian horror simply does it better, whether it’s zombie apocalypses or a tape that will kill you in seven days. The drawback is that foreign content is difficult to acquire unless it receives widespread international praise unless you know what to watch. But owing to services like Disney+, it’s now simpler to watch TV shows and movies from other countries. The most recent international horror title to appear on the streamer is the Indonesian series Teluh Darah.
Teluh Dara is a new Indonesian horror film directed, produced, and written by renowned Indonesian filmmaker Kimo Stamboel. It centers on a family who, unknowingly, has been cursed. consists of father Ahmad (Lukman Sardi), a wealthy businessman with a demanding ex-wife, daughter Wulan (Mikha Tambayong), who is advancing in her career after calling off an engagement, son Wisnu (Justin Adiwinata), a high school student who is involved in drug use with an older woman, and mother Astuti (Imelda Therinne), who at least in the first two episodes is pleasant and unproblematic.
The first episode of the series opens with a grisly death that doesn’t involve any of the family members we’ve met in the prior two episodes, but as the episodes go on, viewers gradually discover how the deceased and the family are connected.
Although we don’t know who placed the curse or why it’s affecting the family, the phrase Teluh Darah, which means “Blood Curse,” implies that our protagonists must confront this no matter how much they disbelieve it or fail to recognize the warning signs.
The first two episodes gave viewers and hint about what was going to happen to our protagonists here and there. Even non-Indonesians will be able to notice strange noises in the night, a dead animal in their walls, or maggots in their new food.
Stamboel is a harsh director. Teluh Darais is not for anyone who is easily nauseated, from close-ups of maggots to the horrific and gory death in the opening sequence of episode one. If you can’t handle seeing something that filthy for very long—some of which are actually uncomfortable to watch—you might want to fast-forward.
Fast-forwarding again, an episode lasts, on average, 40 minutes. The length is noticeable, especially considering that the first two episodes mostly follow our characters as they go about their daily lives, including driving to work, going home, and going out to eat. Even if you were to lose focus or complete a quick activity for ten minutes and then return to the show, you wouldn’t have missed anything. There aren’t many scenes that quicken the pace, but perhaps Teluh Darah benefits from that.
The episodes gradually expose more and more information about our protagonists and the secrets they are hiding. They are cursed, but you are unsure of why. Before the credits roll, viewers are encouraged to try to solve the puzzle piece and think about it. Is Wulan’s ex-fiance responsible for the family’s curse? In some nations and cultures, it is not unheard of for heartbroken ex-lovers to seek vengeance in this manner. Perhaps Ahmad’s ex-wife has been harassing the businessman to get what she is entitled to as a result of the divorce. Even though it will require us to sit still for more than 40 minutes, we are eager to learn.
Although episode two ends on a cliffhanger, like most of the series 10 episodes actually, there is still more to learn about this show. If there is curiosity in starting this Indonesian horror, it might be better to wait till all episodes are out given that Disney+ publishes its content on a weekly basis. Each episode adds a new piece to the jigsaw, but Teluh Darahma may struggle to keep viewers’ interest for very long given how slowly the episodes progress.
Teluh Darah might be your entry point to a tonne of other Indonesian horrors that are most definitely worth the time, so it’s still worth watching if you’ve always been curious to see horror stuff from the region that isn’t the standard popular Korean and Japanese horror flicks.