Grisse Folklore International Series HBOGrisse Folklore International Series HBO

Must Watch International Series

The best just got better. International series from HBO Europe, HBO Asia, and HBO Latin America have landed on these shores. Read on to find out what you need to know about each program.

The six-part horror anthology from HBO Asia is directed by six of the continent’s up-and-coming directors across six different countries. The unnerving series is an exploration of deep-seated superstitions that have permeated Asian cultures for generations — and doesn't shy away from the spooky.

Below are the basics, but if here's everything to know about each episode (and its respective mythology).

Country

Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore, South Korea and Thailand

Language

Each episode features the language of the country in which it’s set.

Time Commitment

1 season: 6 episodes, 6 hours

Watch with

An open mind. Things get very weird very quickly.

Words You'll Learn

The names of supernatural beings in Asian lore, like Pob (a human-eating spirit) and Mongdal (the ghost of a bachelor).

Set in what’s now known as Gresik, East Java, Grisse is the story of a 19th century rebellion, when Indonesian natives rose up against the Dutch colonists of the namesake town. A young woman, Kalia, finds herself alone in the world when a rapacious Dutch soldier murders her family. No shrinking violet, Kalia incites a revolution in Grisse, where a motley crew of outlaws (including: a silent ronin, furious farmhands and a sharp-tongued madam) get gritty, Deadwood-style, wrestling with their colonizers — and each other — for control. Kalia and her crew seize the fort, but whether they can hang on before the next group of empire builders rolls in remains to be seen.

Country

Singapore

Language

English

Time Commitment

1 season: 8 episodes, 45 minutes

Watch with

An open mind. It’s in English, but there are stylistic differences in the storytelling.

Words You'll Learn

“Nasi goreng western”: Nasi goreng is the local version of fried rice. Like the “spaghetti westerns” of the Sixties, Grisse combines classic cowboy motifs with elements of Southeast Asia, including martial arts.