Day 2 – 5 Interesting Reasons Behind Death Knot, Cornelio Sunny’s Debut Film as Director

5 Interesting Reasons Behind Death Knot, Cornelio Sunny’s Debut Film as Director

Death Knot is one of the first Indonesian films screened at the Jakarta Film Week (JFW) 2O21, an international film festival organized by the Jakarta Provincial Tourism and Creative Economy Office. 

This horror-thriller genre film aired on the second day of JFW on 19 November 2021, at CGV Grand Indonesia. Starring Cornelio Sunny, Morgan Oey, and Widika Sidmore, this film is considered to have a charming magnetizing effect on international audiences. 

This was conveyed by Yayan Ruhian, an actor who was also present at the Death Knot screening at JFW 2021. “Perhaps there are people here who don’t believe there is such a thing. But make no mistake, in some countries, what we are watching here has the attraction factor they are looking for. If this is thrown at a festival abroad, I think it will explode. Congratulations to everyone involved, I need to learn from you guys,” said Yayan Ruhian in front of the cast and filmmakers behind Death Knot. 

What makes this film considered a success if thrown at international festivals? Here are 5 facts behind Death Knot. 

  1. Death Knot is Cornelio Sunny’s debut as a director and writer. Ismail Basbeth as producer praised Cornelio Sunny for his decision. In addition to being the director and scriptwriter, Sunny also plays the main character in this film. 
  2. Adopting the horror genre but without the jumpscare. Cornelio Sunny said he liked horror but without the jumpscare, but can still leave a scary impression. “Therefore, the horror is rather a thriller than a ghost story,” said Cornelio Sunny. 
  3. Based on a real phenomenon. Death Knot tells the story of village people who hanged themselves, and it is believed to have taken place due to mystical influences. It turned out that a similar phenomenon actually occurred in the Gunung Kidul area, known as Pulung Gantung (Hanging). 
  4. The Pulung Gantung phenomenon caught Cornelio Sunny’s interest, so much that he intended to make it a documentary. Unfortunately, his wish could not be fulfilled due to a number of things, including the unattainable permit to shoot in Gunung Kidul. Until finally, he decided to fictionalize it and made Death Knot. 
  5. The struggle and total dedication while filming in a village on the slopes of Mount Merbabu, Central Java. The crew had to walk uphill for 2 km because there were no vehicles. “At 4 in the morning, the crew had to walk with cameras for scenes in the forest,” said Sunny. 

Despite many struggles, Death Knot was finally ready to meet the audience. After airing at the Jakarta Film Week, the film is also scheduled to be screened in theaters and is currently in talks to appear on an online platform.