Imagine a parallel world populated by Indonesian demons who exist alongside the good people of modern-day Jakarta. That’s the premise behind this bilingual series from Asia, aimed at young adults but totally, utterly enjoyable by old adults as well. If, for some inexplicable reason, you’re still on the fence after that brief introduction, here are five reasons to get into Halfworlds.
Did we mention the demons?
Known as Demit, the monsters inhabiting this series are bloodthirsty and villainous, but according to legend it wasn’t always this way. Up until now, they’ve been hidden away from our eyes by a powerful mortal family, but things are changing. Something called “The Gift” is on its way, and it’s going to change things between demons and humans forever.
It's not your usual series
Produced and developed entirely in Indonesia, Halfworlds has an entirely different flavour than we’re usually used to seeing in supernatural horror programming.
For eight one-hour episodes, you’ll be immersed in a world that draws from mythologies most of us aren’t familiar with. Forget mopey vampires and cry-baby werewolves, these baddies are blade-wielding visions of death and destruction. And the actors revel in the chance to reinvent their cultural heritage for a modern audience.
The talent is phenomenal
Don’t expect to have heard of the brains behind this series (unless you’re really into Indonesian telly), but trust us when we say they’re not only accomplished, they’re perfect for this project. Director Joko Anwar, who also co-wrote the series, is best known for his big-screen thrillers, and he brings everything he learnt on Ritual and The Forbidden Door to Halfworlds. Meanwhile, in front of the camera, model/actress Salvita Decorte and Reza Rahadian kick plenty of arse.
There's a great female lead
Sarah’s (Decorte) an artist who was orphaned at a tender age and has been fending for herself in the slums of Jakarta ever since. No damsel in distress, she’s streetwise and tough – but now she finds herself drawing a range of terrifying demons from her dreams.
Flanked by her boyfriend Coki and bestie Pinung, Sarah’s the key to unlocking this supernatural narrative, with a combination of art and violence.
Coming from the company that has redefined television over the last two decades with artistic freedom, innovative storytelling and trust in their audiences, anything bearing the HBO brand is worth a look.
From the comics-inspired opener onward, you’ll be drawn into this world in the same way “Bad Things” transported us to the vampire-infested South of True Blood. Just think – you could be the first one to know about this year’s Carnivàle or Game of Thrones...
Halfworlds airs Saturdays on SBS 2 and the entire series is available on SBS On Demand. Watch the first episode right here: