Over the last several years, Indonesian horror has been on the rise, but later this month, local moviegoers will be able to see a film with particularly high promise. DANUR, based on the best-selling novel Gerbang Dialog Danur, hits cinema screens on March 30th, and after speaking with Director Awi Suryadi last week, we thought now would be the perfect time to catch up with the leading lady herself, Prilly Latuconsina, to get her thoughts on the project.

Here’s what she had to say:

Of all the things you’ve been involved with, I’m not sure anyone would have pictured you starring in a Horror film. Is this something that you’ve always wanted to do?

I am a big fan of horror movies, I am a loyal observer of this genre and this is what I’ve always wanted to do for a long time.

At what point did the studio contact you with the opportunity?

I think not long after they got a director attached. My manager said there was a horror offer, something she knew I’ve always wanted to do. But unfortunately most of our local horror movies are poorly made and disappoint me as a horror fan. So I was a bit cautious about the offer. After finding out the story of DANUR and meeting with the director, I didn’t hesitate at all to get on board.

Were you nervous at all about the challenges that the horror genre brings?

I’ve always liked challenges so I was not nervous at all. Honestly, I was even hoping to see some real ghosts in the process of making this movie :laughs:

What was different about being on set with Awi as opposed to some of the other projects you’ve worked on?

Awi is a perfectionist with high aesthetic taste. He takes every single scene so seriously and likes to do many shots and many takes meticulously. And I mean many. This makes him different from other directors I’ve worked with before. He pushes and expects a lot from his actors.

I hear you’re a horror movie fan yourself? What’s your favorite kind of horror movie, and after working on DANUR, do you see yourself working on more in the future?

I like horror movies with a smaller relatable story, for example a family drama like the Conjuring or Ju-on. To me they’re more scary because they feel closer to everyday situation in real life.

I surely see myself working on more horror with the people behind DANUR. 

What kind of preparation did you do for the role? Did you want to read the novel or did you prefer to act based on the screenplay alone?

The script was in the process of a rewrite when I signed, so I had to prepare myself by reading the novel first. And since the novel is about real life experiences of the author, Risa Saraswati, I quickly got in touch with her and we had a few long discussions about the character. In addition, all the actors went thru a two-week script reading/rehearsal process before the shoot. 

This might sound like a silly question… but do you believe in ghosts? Has starring in DANUR changed anything for you in that regard?

I didn’t believe in ghosts before. That changed after meeting Risa. I went thru a ritual with her to temporarily open my spiritual eyes. We did it in an old park where her ghost friends like to play. I saw a lot more than just her friends. I’m no longer a skeptic, they are really around us even if we don’t see them.

What do you think your fans will be most surprised by when they see the film?

I think my fans will be surprised by how well-made DANUR is, compared to most local horror movies. And I can confidently say they have never seen me quite like this in all my previous roles, this is truly something new and different for them, I promise.

Little Risa is lonely. Her father is working in a foreign country and her mother is kept busy between taking care of her sick grandmother in the hospital and her job as a public servant. So Little Risa is spending her school holiday mostly alone in her grandmother’s big house. When her mother misses her 8th birthday, Little Risa wishes for a friend. As soon as she blows the candle, she hears a little boy singing…

That night, Little Risa meets three little Dutch boys playing hide-and-seek in her grandmother’s closet. They introduce themselves as Peter, William and Janshen. Her wish for a friend has been granted threefold. She doesn’t care that her mother can’t seem to see her new friends, their friendship is real to her. Until one night her mother comes home with a paranormal and he opens her inner eye… Little Risa finally sees her friends in their true form.

9 years later. Risa is a teenager and she hasn’t seen her childhood friends since that night. She has to return to her grandmother’s house to take care of her until a replacement nanny arrives. Upon the nanny’s arrival, strange things start to happen and Risa just might need her childhood friends more than ever.