Indonesian horror refers to horror films produced in the Indonesian film industry. Often inspired by local folklore,[1][2] Indonesian horror films have been produced in the country since the 1960s. After a hiatus during the Suharto era in the 1990s when censorship affected production, Indonesian horror films continued being produced following Reformasi in 1998.[3][4]


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Ghosts and magical folklore have long been part of Indonesian culture. These later influenced the development of horror films.[5] Kuntilanak are particularly prominent in local horror films.[1]

Thomas Barker has argued that films produced after 1998 in Indonesia have been particularly shaped by what he described as the residual "trauma" of violence under the preceding New Order era under President Suharto.[1]

Indonesian horror films, particularly the work of Joko Anwar, attracted heightened international attention in the late 2010s, aided by streaming services. Some outlets declared films like Impetigore (2019) as part of a new wave of folk horror films from Southeast Asia.[2][5] Impetigore was Indonesia's submission for the Academy Award for Best International Feature Film in its year of release and attracted international recognition, but was not nominated.[2][6]

HBO Asia also released Indonesian-developed horror tevision series Halfworlds.[5]

Notable examples

Notable directors

See also


  1. ^ a b c Barker, Thomas (2013). "The Trauma of Post-1998 Indonesian Horror Films". Journal of Letters. 42 (1): 29–60. ISSN 2586-9736.
  2. ^ a b c Ferrarese, Marco. "'New kinds of monsters': The rise of Southeast Asian horror films". Retrieved 2021-12-23.
  3. ^ Heeren, Katinka van (2007-06-01). "Return of the Kyai: representations of horror, commerce, and censorship in post‐Suharto Indonesian film and television". Inter-Asia Cultural Studies. 8 (2): 211–226. doi:10.1080/13583880701238688. ISSN 1464-9373. S2CID 145086314.
  4. ^ "Indonesian Horror: A Beginner's Guide". 2021-02-07. Retrieved 2021-12-23.
  5. ^ a b c "New wave of horror flicks puts Indonesian cinema on map". Nikkei Asia. Retrieved 2022-01-24.
  6. ^ "The terrifying folk horror film that could be nominated for an Oscar". The Independent. 2021-01-25. Retrieved 2021-12-23.