Back in the 1990s, HBO notably produced the cult-classic horror anthology series Tales from the Crypt. For its new horror anthology, Folklore, the scary monsters are drawn from the mythologies of various Asian cultures. Instead of a vampire, you get a pontianak, and in place of a trickster genie who grants wishes, there is a blood-drinking toyol from Malaysia.
Created by Singaporean director Eric Khoo, the series features six standalone episodes, each with a different director and cast, set in a different country: Indonesia, Japan, Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia, and Korea. (Khoo directed the Singapore-set episode, “Nobody.”) The episodes have been making the rounds at film festivals, including the 2018 Fantastic Fest in Austin, Texas, and the 2018 Toronto Film Festival. And now they’re coming to the small screen.
In “A Mother’s Love,” a single mother moves into a mansion with her young son and finds several unkempt children in the attic. When she helps return them to their families, she incurs the wrath of Wewe Gombel, a child-snatching vengeful spirit—although, to be fair, in the original folktale she only takes children who have been abused. (The story is reminiscent of how the Icelandic ogre Gryla was portrayed as a protector of children recently in The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina solstice special.)