Taipei, July 16 (CNA) Taiwanese horror film “Incantation (咒)” has passed another Taiwanese filmmaking milestone since its release, after making its way onto Netflix charts and becoming the platform’s most watched Taiwanese film.
The film currently sits at number four on Netflix’s Top 10 non-English movie list, garnering the attention of numerous gore lovers and horror aficionados.
According to Netflix’s official statistics, Incantation scared its way into the top 10 by accumulating up to 3.24 million hours of viewership during the week of July 4-10.
Third-party data collection service FlixPatrol also revealed that Incantation had been ranked as Netflix’s eighth most-trending international film.
FlixPatrol indicated that the movie is now ranked as the most popular film in Taiwan, Japan, Hong Kong, Singapore, Indonesia, and Vietnam, and the second-most attention-grabbing movie in Malaysia and the Philippines.
In Japan, the horror film’s mythical elements even encouraged famous celebrities such as game designer Hideo Kojima to help promote the movie to horror fans in the country.
The film has also attracted considerable hype in Latin American countries like Chile, Argentina, and Columbia, FlixPatrol showed, enchanting its way into Netflix’s top 10 in those countries.
Responding to Incantation’s international recognition and success on Netflix, the film’s director Kevin Ko (柯孟融) said he was surprised and humbled.
“As a director, the achievement didn’t even cross my mind in my dreams,” Ko said. “I thought this would only happen in a parallel universe.”
Ko said while the film was successful both critically and financially in Taiwan, he was initially worried that the film’s culturally-specific horror elements would not get across to viewers from other countries.
However, seeing how netizens from other cultures said the film’s unfamiliar and unknown elements added a sense of mysticism to the film, Ko said his worries were unnecessary.
Ko went on to remind everyone who wants to watch his film to use headphones to get the most immersive horror experience.
Since its theatrical release in Taiwan in March, the horror film has raked in NT$170 million (US$5.7 million) at the domestic box office.
The film has also accomplished several “firsts” in Taiwan such as being the first Taiwan horror film to make such financial achievement and the nation’s first found-footage style horror film.
Its mockumentary horror format has had fans and critics comparing it to the first movie of its kind, 1999’s “Blair Witch Project,” going as far as calling Incantation the Taiwanese equivalent of the Hollywood cult film.
With its characters’ incantation of “Hou-ho-xiu-yi, si-sei-wu-ma” phonetically designed to be easily repeated by audiences and its contorted spell-casting gesture aimed at sending chills down the spines of viewers, Incantation is now streaming on Netflix and causing a fright around the world in multiple languages.
(By Yeh Kuan-yin and James Lo)


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