Indonesian Horror Film: Deconstruction of Repetitive Elements of Indonesian Urban Legend for Cultural Revitalization, Creativity, and Critical Thinking


Currently, film remains the main media for public entertainment. Of the many genres of film in Indonesia, horror is still the most popular. Unfortunately, Indonesian horror films pay little attention to the creative aspects of the story but focus on cinematography, producing repetitive performances which often follow stock templates. The story typically begins with moving to an empty house, getting lost in the forest, and being haunted by female ghosts. Even so, horror films like this are required to encourage critical and creative thinking of observers and film producers. Therefore, this study aims to discuss the disruptive element through repetitive stories in horror films that are able to open up opportunities for the emergence of creative interplay and its relevance to creative education through horror films in Indonesia. This research uses Maruska Svasek’s perspective on transit and transition which will dissect cultural phenomena in Indonesian horror films. In addition, the viewpoint from Derrida is used to deconstruct repetitive thoughts by film audiences to show the demythologization that occurs in current horror films. Data is taken from literature studies of Indonesian horror films with temporal limitations 2017-2019. Data was also collected using a questionnaire with the decoding-encoding belonging to Stuart Hall perspective. The results of the study show that the repetitive story culture is caused by Indonesian people’s interest in legendary urban legend stories. Utilizing urban legend as the main idea of the story, through Svasek’s perspective, creates attention to the culture that provides an opportunity for cultural preservation and revitalization.

Keywords: Indonesian horror film, urban legend, deconstruction, cultural revitalization, creativity

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