[Interview] Kimo Stamboel Talks ‘Dancing Village: The Curse Begins’ and Halloween

The new Indonesian folk horror movie Dancing Village: The Curse Begins arrives in theaters today, and we talked to director Kimo Stamboel about his biggest influences, shooting in IMAX, and more.

In this horror-thriller, a shaman instructs Mila (played by Maudy Effrosina) to return a mystical bracelet, the Kawaturih, to the “Dancing Village,” a remote site on the easternmost tip of Java Island. Joined by her cousin and his friends, Mila arrives on the island only to discover that the village elder has passed away, and that the new guardian isn’t present. Various strange and eerie events occur while awaiting the elder’s return, including Mila being visited by Badarawuhi (played by Aulia Sarah), a mysterious, mythical being who rules the village. When she decides to return the Kawaturih without the help of the elder, Mila threatens the village’s safety, and she must join a ritual to select the new “Dawuh,” a cursed soul forced to dance for the rest of her life.

Dancing Village: The Curse Begins is a prequel to KKN di Desa Penari, which was the highest grossing Indonesian film in history when it was released in 2022.This new film is the first film made for IMAX ever produced in Southeast Asia, and in 2024, it will be one of only five films made for IMAX productions worldwide. Producer Manoj Punjabi is Indonesia’s most successful film and TV producer, and is the founder of MD Pictures, the country’s largest film company.

In our video conversation with Stamboel earlier this week, we also discussed the real life folklore that inspired the film, and of course Kimo’s own feelings on and favorite personal traditions for Halloween itself, a holiday that his main exposure to growing up in Indonesia was through American horror movies.

You can watch our exclusive video interview with Kimo Stamboel, as well as the trailer for Dancing Village, below.

Dancing Village: The Curse Begins is in select theaters now.

Matt Artz

Founded Halloween Daily News in 2012 and the Halloween International Film Festival in 2016. Professional writer/journalist/photographer since 2000.