Directed by Fajar Nugros and written by Deo Mahameru, the movie “The Womb,” also known as “Inang,” is a representation of a superstition that had been instilled among the Javanese. The movie discusses the meaning behind “Wekesan Wednesday” while also giving the ritual a twist of horror. Indonesian horror films have been bringing out a lot of new storylines while also delving deep into their culture to make them more unique than the prevalent generic horror films in the market. The director had also taken inspiration from the commuting women to construct the character of Wulan and capture the essence of the harsh reality that many pregnant women face. He also keeps his Javanese roots intact, as he decides to honor them by showcasing the traditions they follow.
The storyline also delves into two sides of parenthood: the neglectful ones and the ones who would do anything to ensure the well-being of their child. He plays on the story depicting that the parents would even take a life as well as harbor all of the sins just so their child could get a better life and live healthily. The traditions they follow in real life when their child is born on the unlucky Wednesday to pray for his health and to reject evil are represented quite well through this movie. A recommended watch for horror movie lovers out there, “The Womb” brings something rather unique that could be intriguing to many.
‘The Womb’ Plotline: What Is The Film About?
“The Womb” starts out with an interview informing the viewers about a ritual that exists in Indonesia and is called “Wekasan Wednesday.” It is a Javanese ritual done to avoid the bad luck that befalls a child born on Wednesday. The story then begins with the perils of a young pregnant woman whose boyfriend had left her immediately after she’d revealed she was pregnant. The young woman, Wulan, works at a retail store and survives on minimum wage. Her landlord, hounding her for money, kicks her out after she leaves her job due to harassment. She had asked for early pay; however, her boss harassed her instead. With nowhere to go, she ends up accepting the offer to stay with a couple who are interested in adopting her child. As she stays with them, she receives good care, and the couple makes sure she is comfortable. However, things start to take a darker turn as she witnesses some rather uncomfortable happenings as she nears her delivery date. Disturbed, she begins to look for and plan a way out of this place, and her ticket to freedom arrives in the form of the couple’s son, Bergas. They find out the plots the couple has cooked up to save their son from harm, and Bergas helps her escape.
Why Did Wulan Start Having Nightmares?
When Wulan finds out that she is pregnant and asks her then-boyfriend for help, he ditches her immediately after throwing her some money for a visit to the doctor. She returns to her minimum wage job and has a mental breakdown, which her friend Nita discovers and gives her a pep talk about. They return to her, and she makes her way back to her home, where Wulan is accosted by the landlord, who demands the rent by the middle of the month. She approaches her boss for an early payment, but her boss harasses her, and she slaps him. She is then fired from her job, and as she returns home with some food and daily necessities, her landlord tosses her out. With nowhere to go, she contacts the helpline for pregnancy counseling, which had earlier contacted her, and she tells them that she is willing to consider the option of adoption. She is reached out to by a couple who is willing to adopt her baby and is also more than ready to accommodate her till after the delivery. Mrs. Eva and Mr. Agus come off as charming older couples who almost immediately want to adopt Wulan and her baby. She had hesitated, but after she had been tossed out of her home, she took them up on their offer. The couple drove her to their home, which was located in the suburbs. Their home was an estate with a sprawling field with trees surrounding it, as well as a little greenhouse where Eva tended to her little garden. The first few days with the couple went by comfortably as Wulan felt a sense of peace around them. She had had a traumatic childhood, where she witnessed her parents fighting almost every day. The love Eva and Agus had for each other had made her sure that her child would get the utmost care.
The terrible days started after a friend of the couple, Ageng, was called to perform a ritual on Wulan. As the date of her delivery neared, Ageng was called to make sure that the child was born on Wednesday. The nights after the ritual was restless for Wulan, as she seemed to go through terrible nightmares. Her nightmares almost began as a warning as she dreamed of an unknown woman crawling toward her and depictions of the same woman hugging a newborn child near a bonfire with the umbilical cord in her mouth. She had also dreamed of a bloodied child when she had been curious about what Agus was cooking in her dream. These nightmares freaked her out, as she sensed that there were some rather sinister plots involved. These dreams could be premonitions that were telling her what her future holds. Wulan quickly pieced the puzzle together, and she started looking for an escape route. She had tried to ask her assigned doctor for help and also some information on Ageng, but the doctor simply dished out praises for him; the doctor later turned out to be his wife.
What Happened To Wulan’s Friend?
Out of sheer desperation, Wulan contacted her friend Nita and asked her to come to pick her up from the house. She also sent her the location; however, Eva had overheard her conversation. Eva asked Wulan about her friend, and she insisted Wulan bring her over to cheer herself up. Agus, in a solemn mood, overheard them talking, and that day he changed the image of the easy-going couple immediately. He tracked down the address of her only friend and delivered her food laced with poison while posing as a delivery guy. The delivery was accepted by Nita’s beau, and they had the food, only to gasp for breath while the news of humans getting killed to support the organ trafficking industry played in the background. Minutes later, Agus entered their home to admire his handiwork as he killed Nita with a clean slice across her throat and planted the knife on her beau while he was almost at death’s door himself, thus severing the only tie Wulan had to the outside. Wulan then tried to get the doctor to help her, but as the doctor was already in cahoots with Eva, Agus, and Ageng, her plan failed.
‘The Womb’ Ending Explained: Did Wulan Escape The House? Did Bergas Die?
As her delivery date neared and her paranoia heightened, Wulan decided to escape the house on her own when her calls to Nita did not go through. Coincidentally, Eva and Agus’ son Bergas appeared right when everything was going downhill for Wulan. Bergas had left his job in Singapore and returned to his parents’ estate to clear his mind for a month. He had also gotten away from a rather terrible breakup, as he had found out that his girlfriend had cheated on him. On arrival, Bergas had been surprised to see Wulan, and his appearance had made his parents panic. They had an inkling that Bergas would find out about the ritual. They introduced Wulan as their distant family member, while Wulan tried scrounging up enough money to escape in any way she could. Bergas caught her in the act, and she confessed to trying to escape the house. The next day, Wulan tried to tell Eva that she wanted to leave; however, Eva hypnotized her into agreeing to stay and leave only after her delivery.
Bergas, meanwhile, discovered his parents’ strange behavior and decided to help Wulan. They venture out in the dark to the storeroom after Bergas finds an album containing pictures of their maid, who had been pregnant when he was 10, and of another pregnant girl, who had been the couple’s niece. Both of them had gone missing, so Bergas sought out more clues. They arrive at the storeroom to find out more about the missing ladies, and Bergas comes across an ancient book detailing rituals. They are eventually discovered by Eva and Agus, as they inquire as to why they were in the storeroom. Eva and Agus let them go after Wulan lied about asking Bergas for a quick liaison outside. Bergas then finds out about the ritual where pregnant women and their children are sacrificed to help ward off evil energy.
Bergas had been born on a Wednesday, specifically the last Wednesday of the month of Safar, according to the Javanese Calendar. This day, in particular, is an unlucky and cursed day, and the tradition followed in rejecting this bad luck is called “Wekesan Rebo” or “Wekesan Wednesday.” It had been prophesied that Bergas would not last a day after his tenth birthday, and therefore Eva and Agus had to follow a tradition of sacrificing a pregnant lady and her child, who was also to be born on a Wednesday, to save Bergas’ life. At first, they had not believed in such superstitions, but after Bergas had fallen sick right after his tenth birthday and had been at death’s door, the doctors were puzzled by his situation. They decided to hold the ritual and sacrificed their longtime maid Sumiyati and her child, and Bergas immediately regained his health. This led to the couple following the ritual every tenth year of Bergas’ life.
This time, they had chosen Wulan, but on finding out, the two quickly ran away from the estate. They tried to get away by car, but the car did not start up. Thus they decided to run away on foot. Eventually, both of them were caught. Agus and Eva decided to hypnotize Bergas and render him unconscious. As Bergas came to, he was tied to the chair while Agus explained the situation to him. Bergas was dead set against the ritual, while Agus tried to make him understand why they had to go through with it. Eva then entered the room and yet again snapped Bergas back to sleep while they decided to go ahead with the ritual.
Bergas eventually came to his senses and set himself free by breaking a glass bottle to cut through his ties. He kept the broken bottle with him as he trudged down to the storeroom to find the doctor leaving after the delivery. He reached there just before Agus was going to kill Wulan. Bergas used himself as a bargaining chip to get both Wulan and her child out of the situation, as he threatened to kill himself if they did not follow through. They sat in the car after Bergas stabbed the meddling Ageng as he tried to stop him. Eva kept on trying to make Bergas look at her so that she could hypnotize him. However, Bergas resolutely drove away, not caring that he hit his father with the car. They escaped successfully, and they stopped by a tea shop near the highway as Bergas tried to freshen up. Bergas had stepped out to pay the bill for the tea; however, due to the ritual to save his life not having taken place, Bergas was killed right then by an oncoming truck. It had been rather obvious that he would die on the road, judging by the way the movie placed emphasis on the heavy traffic on the highway.
“The Womb” is a 2023 Drama Thriller film directed by Fajar Nugros.