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Review Blood Curse a.k.a. Teluh Darah (TV Mini Series 2023)

genre: horror, mystery,

In my opinion, creator Kimo Stamboel can be called a master of horror. Maybe not all of his works can be called good. Most are effective, though. In that regard, Blood Curse, should be considered a culmination of previous works with the right amounts of everything he has done previously.

There won't be a shortage of blood, gore and other nastiness. Next to that, however, is the ever building up of tension, dread and suspense. In the first few episodes, you get red herring after red herring, only to find out later you have been all wrong. Actually, at times they even made me feel sorry for doubting them. To be able to convey this to someone like me, a hardcore horror / film fan, that's quite an achievement. While Kimo undoubtedly deserves credit for a lot of the elements, the acting done by the cast is good. I am not entirely sure by the lead, Mikha Tambayong who plays Wulan. It's understandable for her character to be sceptical and dismissive at certain points. But soon she is exposed to things she can see with her own eyes, and still is dismissive of the elements she can't explain. It takes her forever to give in and be proactive. Other characters like her brother, Wisnu (played by Justin Adiwinata) and Esa (played by Deva Mahenra) are far more open-minded than her. They also are highly educated people, but they still are more observant and perceptive. Wulan, like many characters in horror films, prefer to be in denial and hope that everything will blow over while events get progressively worse and dire. She had me screaming at her. And unfortunately there is another character who acts stupid when it's so obvious what is going on. Anyway, I think this is one of those tropes you can't avoid, since it does put emphasis on the wickedness of the evildoers.

After certain moments, I did think they went overboard by showing us the torturous moments. There is only so much you can show and lose interest. This is when the story heads into a direction where the mystery becomes more prevalent and like the main characters are on the hunt for the ones who are causing these egregious acts of violence and murder. I was so invested, since the way things play out are written well. Just when you thought you had it figured out, it goes into a different direction. I really like how this series ties into a horrible event that actually has occurred. I myself haven't heard about this. Maybe it was presented in the news and I simply didn't pay attention. Although, there were times I didn't follow the news too closely, so it easily could have slipped by me. But it does add to the viewing experience. 

The final episodes have some nice twists and turns that do put things on edge even further. Truly horrifying, especially for Wulan and Esa. The cliffhanger ending, though, I am not sure off. I have some notion about it, and perhaps this could mean there is a second season. I am not entirely sure if that would work if that would mean a repetition of season 1. But I guess we will have to wait and see. For now, I can wholeheartedly recommend this show. It truly delivers on the horror goodness and that is what matters.

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