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Erik Matti’s HBO ‘Folklore’ episode is all about the mangkukulam

Erik Matti’s HBO ‘Folklore’ episode is all about the mangkukulam

A year after it hit the news, Erik Matti’s Filipino mythology-inspired HBO episode is finally here for your nightmare fuel. Its subject? None other than your not-so-friendly neighborhood sorcerer, the mangkukulam.

As part of the second season of HBO’s Asian horror anthology series “Folklore,” the Matti-directed episode titled “7 Days of Hell” will delve into the unseen side of Filipino sorcerers. The episode follows Lourdes (Dolly de Leon), a righteous cop desperate to save her son Eugene (Roshson Barman) from a curse set upon him by a mangkukulam.

During a press con for the show, Matti explained how the mangkukulam is rarely explored in full depth on the screen—which, ultimately, adds to the horror side of the episode.

“When they’re confronted with something that they can’t explain, they rely mostly on evidence, on proof, on nothing ambiguous,” he said. 

“But then, they end up thinking about, ‘Maybe this is the work of the supernatural.’ For people who believe in logic, I think it’s interesting to watch in a story—that slowly, they try to veer towards the illogical, gut instinct, intuition, rather than provable evidence.”

The episode, which was written by “On The Job” screenwriter Michiko Yamamoto, takes cues from actual stories of pangkukulam, a.k.a. black magic attacks. 

Aside from “7 Days of Hell,” “Folklore” season two also includes mythology-inspired horror episodes from Taiwan, Japan, Thailand, Indonesia, and Singapore. The series is currently streaming on HBO Go every week, with “7 Days of Hell” hitting the site on Dec. 5.

But if you’re on the hunt for more folklore-based content to sate and scare you for the holidays, take a peek at these Philippine mythology-filled games. (Because Halloween is a state of mind.)

Read more:
For your consideration: 5 TV shows based on Philippine mythology
‘Balete City RPG’ wants to show Philippine Mythology beyond “aswangs”
QUIZ: Which Philippine mythical monster is your actual soulmate?

Still from “Folklore”



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