The producer, director and cast enlivened the gala night and movie premiere
8 Feb – Part of the ancient practices and beliefs of the Minahasa people in Indonesia that involve burying the body of their departed in a 'waruga' (a burial place or tomb) has inspired production company D'Ayu Pictures to produce the horror film "Waruga: Kutukan Ilmu Hitam."
According to the tribe's beliefs, a departed who is buried in a 'waruga' with both knees close to the chest akin to the position of a fetus in the womb will be reborn in the future.
Director Azaromi Ghozali said that the idea to produce this film began with the narration of writer Gawar Sawba'yah about the ancient belief. "At the same time, I had an idea for a horror story that is related to black magic and the worship of dead bodies. This is indirectly related to the beliefs of the Mihanasa people, so I combined these two ideas and the end result is the film "Waruga: Kutukan Ilmu Hitam."
"This film tells about black magic and the cult of reviving the dead. I chose the title 'waruga' as a symbol and inspiration for the rebirth ceremony according to Minahasa beliefs," he explained when met last night at the Gala Night and premiere of the movie at GSC The Starling Mall, Petaling Jaya. Also present at the event were executive producer, Datuk Rosmar Ayu Mokhtar and the cast.
Azaromi assures that some of the scenes shown in the film are not too 'extreme' in order to abide by the Film Censorship Board (LPF)'s guidelines. "In the dialogue, we changed the name of the Minahasa tribe to Mihanasa in order to maintain sensitivity and the script was also sent to Indonesia first. This ancient belief is too old and it is understood now that there are no more superstitions involving 'waruga' so there is no problem."
"Only in Malaysia, of course I have to be careful because there is LPF, and this film is classified as 13. So that's why I didn't show too many scenes of cult rituals or resurrecting the dead and I replaced them with crows as a symbol. The spells used in the film's dialogues are also purely fictional and have no element of worship. We used a lot of sound effects to evoke the horror of the scenes. I'm also afraid to use real spells."
Azaromi hopes that the horror film will be positively received
"For this film, I used the concept of 'open ending' for the audience to imagine what happens next. I hope the audience can see from a positive angle about the message conveyed," said the director, who shared that he has already made plans to produce a sequel to the film.
At the same time, Rosmar Ayu expresses hope that the film will receive a favorable response from the audience, especially horror movie fans. "At the moment I have been approached by three distribution companies from Indonesia to hold simultaneous screenings there. But due to some constraints, we had to cancel the screening there."
"However, after the trailer of this film came out, we were approached by three more distribution companies to show this film in other Asean countries such as Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and the Philippines, in addition to Turkey and Azerbaijan," she said.
Comprising of a cast of great actors such as Datin Elvina Mohamad, Zahiril Adzim, Eriza Allya, Sahronizam Noor and Ruminah Sidek, "Waruga: Kutukan Ilmu Hitam" will begin haunting cinemas nationwide from 15 February 2024.
Cinema Online, 08 February 2024