Impetigore, a wild, gory horror movie from Joko Anwar, director of Satan’s Slaves, could be headed to the Oscars. Anwar himself announced on social media that the film, which is streaming exclusively on Shudder, is Indonesia’s official submission for the 93rd Academy Awards. Does that mean it will get nominated? No. In fact, I can’t imagine the Academy giving the film a fair shot. But it’s still wonderful to know that such a bold, original genre pic is being submitted.
Impetigore (Perempuan Tanah Jahanam) is Indonesia's official submission for the 93rd ACADEMY AWARDS. pic.twitter.com/ud7KTVUKsL
— Joko Anwar (@jokoanwar) November 10, 2020
Impetigore is not your typical Oscar movie. In the Joko Anwar horror film, “After surviving a murder attempt in the city, Maya, a down-on-her-luck young woman, learns that she may inherit a house in her ancestral village. With her friend Dini, Maya returns to the village of her birth, unaware that the community there has been trying to locate and kill her to remove the curse that has plagued the village for years. As she begins to discover the complicated reality about her past, Maya finds herself in a fight for her life.”
The results are stylish and often quite gory, and whenever I think about stuffy members of the Academy watching that, I can’t help but smile. In the Twitter post above, Anwar himself confirms that the movie is Indonesia’s Foreign Language Film submission for the 93rd Academy Awards. That actually makes it the second Shudder original to be considered for Oscar glory, as Jayro Bustamante’s La Llorona (not to be confused with the Conjuring Universe movie The Curse of La Llorona), another movie exclusive to the horror streaming service, was recently named as Guatemala’s Academy Award submission.
I prefer Satan’s Slaves to Impetigore, but I remain happy that a genre film is being acknowledged for awards consideration at all. “Impetigore is my love letter to horror movies I grew up with, slashers, ghost stories, wrapped in a tragic family drama not unlike my family,” Anwar said in a statement when Shudder purchased the film. In press materials for the project, the writer-director added:
“When I was six years old, my brother told me that the leather which was used to make shadow puppets was human skin. That haunted me throughout my childhood. Perhaps he told me this lie because he knew I loved watching horror films since I was a toddler. So I made this movie Impetigore as a love letter to horror movies I grew up with. I hope people can enjoy it as much as I loved being scared as a kid.”
Again: I have doubts that the Academy will nominate Impetigore, but we can all hope for the best.
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