Jangan Tegur (Be Silent)
A long feature from Malaysia´s New Paper looks at the recent string of horror films from Malaysia. Malaysia enjoyed a brief Golden Age of Horror Films with movies like those on the Pontianak, a Malay witch, in the 1950s and 1960s. (Read an inspired piece on the Pontianak movies here, and an excellent academic article by Timothy White here.) The aptly called Metrowealth International Group is among those behind the revival.
In the early 1960s, the Singaporean film industry, that produced those films, went down the drain, and only some independent horror films were produced in the 60s and 70s. After the Iranian revolution in 1979 started an Islamic revival around the world, including Malaysia, folk superstition (tahyul) became taboo in popular entertainment.
In recent years, inspired by the success of J horror in the country, there has been a boom of new horror films, that often draw on old Malay myths, with even indie film makers like Amir Muhammad and James Lee trying their hand at the genre. And there does not seem to be an end to this trend.
From the article: “‘But as the market gets flooded with horror films, will people get sick of them? ‘As long as we make them, people will come,’ (Pierre Andre, the star of the movie – T.B.) said.”