TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The Taiwanese horror film "Incantation (咒)" is shattering Taiwan film records as it climbs to the No.3 position on Netflix's Global Top 10.
With 10,850,000 hours viewed from July 11 to July 17, "Incantation" has spooked international audiences on its way to becoming the third-most-popular non-English film on Netflix this week, and the most-watched Taiwanese film on the platform. According to FlixPatrol, "Incantation" was the eighth-most popular movie overall on Netflix on Tuesday (July 19).
Last Wednesday (July 13), "Incantation" was the most popular Netflix film in Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, Taiwan, and Vietnam. On that day, it was also the second-most popular movie in Malaysia, the Philippines, and Singapore on the streaming platform.
The film has also made it to the top 10 in Latin America and even climbed to the top 5 in Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Mexico, and Paraguay. The film found its way to the top 10 in the Middle East as well, including Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates.
Characters from film display spell-casting hand gestures. ("Incantation" still)
In addition to its popularity on Netflix, the film is rapidly breaking a number of records for Taiwan-made movies. Since the film was released on March 18, it has grossed NT$170 million (US$5.68 million) at the box office in Taiwan, setting the ticket sales record for a Taiwanese horror movie.
The work is also Taiwan's first found-footage style horror movie. It employs a mockumentary format that has been favorably compared by film critics to the "Blair Witch Project."
Scenes from "Incantation." (YouTube and Facebook screenshots)
The film's director, Kevin Ko (柯孟融), was cited by CNA as saying that he was surprised and humbled by the international success of the film. “As a director, the achievement didn’t even cross my mind in my dreams,” Ko then added, “I thought this would only happen in a parallel universe.”
Although there are currently only dubbed versions of the movie in English, Thai, and Spanish, the characters' incantation of "Hou-ho-xiu-yi, si-sei-wu-ma" (火佛修一 心薩嘸哞) has become popular among foreign netizens. Many have also begun to imitate the spell-casting mudra seen in the film.