Netflix has acquired the global rights to the Taiwanese horror blockbuster Incantation, The Hollywood Reporter announced in an exclusive on Tuesday. The film, which hit Taiwanese theaters in March, will be released to worldwide audiences on Netflix July 8. Described as “the scariest Taiwanese film ever,” the found-footage, mockumentary-style film has already earned $5.7 million (TW$170 million) since its spring release, earning Incantation the designation of the top-earning original Taiwanese horror film of all time. A sequel is already in the works.
Janelle Ong, Chinese-language content acquisition manager at Netflix, said of the film, “Incantation has resonated strongly with Taiwanese audiences, and we are excited to share this movie with our members around the world. Asian horror has been very influential in shaping the genre and bringing it to new heights, and we are proud to partner with a new generation of Asian filmmakers who are creating the movies that will define what terror means for today’s viewers.”
The film, which follows a family of cult worshippers in Kaohsiung, Taiwan and was inspired by a true story, has been a hit with both critical and commercial audiences; Incantation has received seven Taipei Film Award nominations, including best director, best actress, and best narrative feature.
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The Taipei Film Award winners will be announced on July 9, following the film’s global streaming debut on Netflix. Watch the horrifying trailer for Incantation here:
Director Kevin Ko Wants to Keep Horror Fans Awake at Night
“I’m really proud that Incantation is going to be released on Netflix globally, maximizing the number of people who can watch it,” the film’s director, Kevin Ko, told Netflix. Ko, known for his work in Taiwanese horror with flicks such as Invitation Only (2009), also serves as the writer and producer on Incantation.
“It has always been my dream to make films that travel around the world and are watched by every horror fan on Earth, keeping them awake at night. I can’t wait to hear viewers’ reactions.”
The Taiwanese filmmaker also cited globally popular Asian horror films from the 1990s and early 2000s, such as Ring, Ju-on (The Grudge), and The Eye, as major influences on his work. “Asian horror is not just about hardcore gore. It has a softness to it. It scares you, but also moves you, even heals you.”
Global audiences can catch Kevin Ko’s Incantation on Netflix beginning July 8.