Geek Review: Teluh Darah (Disney+)

This review is based on the two first episodes of Teluh Darah.

From zombie apocalypses to a tape that’ll kill you in seven days, Asian horror simply does it better. The catch is that unless you know what to watch, it’s not easy to have easy access to foreign content unless it comes to international critical acclaim. But thanks to platforms like Disney+, catching TV shows and films from other markets has become easier, and the latest foreign horror title to hit the streamer is Indonesian series, Teluh Darah. 

Hailing from noted Indonesian film director, producer, and screenwriter Kimo Stamboel, Teluh Darah is a new Indonesian horror that follows a family who unbeknownst to them, has been cursed. Made up of dad Ahmad (Lukman Sardi), a successful businessman with an ex-wife that won’t stop asking him for money, daughter Wulan (Mikha Tambayong) who is delving deeper into her flourishing career after ending an engagement, son Wisnu (Justin Adiwinata) who is still in high school but is busy doing drugs with an older woman and mother Astuti (Imelda Therinne), who at least in the first two episodes, is sweet and unproblematic. 

The series starts with a gruesome death – not of any of the family members we’re introduced to in the first two episodes, but as the episodes roll, viewers slowly learn how the deceased and the family are linked to each other. 

The term ‘Teluh Darah’ translates to ‘Blood Curse’, and whilst we don’t know who cast the curse or why it’s happening to the family, there is the insinuation that this is something that our characters can’t run away from, no matter how much they refuse to believe or see the signs. 

The first two episodes shown little tells here and there to inform viewers and our characters that something is about to happen to them. Noises in the night, a dead animal in their walls, maggots in their fresh food – all of these are simple indicators that even non-Indonesians will be able to catch on. 

Director Stamboel is unforgiving. From close-ups of maggots to the bloody and gruesome death in the opening sequence of episode one, Teluh Darah is not for those who are easily queasy. The camera lingers on all things disgusting and some are quite painful to look at, so if that’s something you’re unable to stomach, you might want to fast-forward.

Speaking of fast-forward, each episode runs for an average of 40 minutes. The length can be felt, especially since the first two episodes mainly follow our characters on their day to day like heading to work, driving home, wining and dining. Even if you were to zone out or do a little 10 minutes task and return back to the show after, you wouldn’t have missed much. There aren’t plenty of moments that pick up the pace but perhaps that’s what works for Teluh Darah. 

Things about our characters and the secrets they harbour are revealed slowly throughout the episodes. You know they are cursed, but you don’t know why. It’s a puzzle piece that viewers are pulled to try and solve and ponder about before the credits roll. Is Wulan’s ex-fiancé the one who placed a curse on the family? It is not unheard of in some countries and cultures where broken hearted ex-lovers seek revenge in such ways. Or could it be Ahmad’s ex-wife who has been hounding the businessman for what she is due thanks to the divorce? We don’t know but we sure want to find out even if it means sitting down for 40 over minutes. 

With 10 episodes in the series, there’s still more to uncover as episode two ends with a cliffhanger, like most of its episodes actually. Seeing how Disney+ has weekly releases for their content, it might be best that one waits for all episodes to be out if there’s an interest to start this Indonesian horror. Each episode is a new piece to the puzzle but given how slow the episodes play out, Teluh Darah may not be able to hold viewers’ attention for long. 

It is, however, still worth checking out if you’ve always had interest in catching horror content from the region that aren’t the go-to popular Korean and Japanese horror films. Teluh Darah could be your gateway to plenty of other Indonesian horrors that are most definitely worth the time.



Teluh Darah starts off slow but with plenty of reasons as to why this family is cursed, we might just stick around.

  • Story - 6.5/10
  • Direction - 7/10
  • Characterisation - 7/10
  • Geek Satisfaction - 6.5/10