The Forbidden Door

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Forbidden Door
Forbidden door Anwar-preferred.jpg
Forbidden Door movie poster
Directed by Joko Anwar
Produced by Sheila Timothy
Written by Joko Anwar
Based on Pintu Terlarang
by Sekar Ayu Asmara
Starring Fachri Albar
Marsha Timothy
Ario Bayu
Otto Djauhari
Tio Pakusadewo
Henidar Amroe
Arswendi Nasution
Atiqah Hasiholan
Verdi Solaiman
Putri Sukardi
Ade Firza Paloh
Music by Aghi Narottama
Distributed by Lifelike Pictures
Release date
  • January 2, 2009 (2009-01-02) (Indonesia)
Running time
115 minutes
Country Indonesia
Language Indonesian

The Forbidden Door (Indonesian: Pintu Terlarang) is a 2009 Indonesian thriller film, directed by Joko Anwar. It is based on the novel Pintu Terlarang, written by Sekar Ayu Asmara. Joko Anwar won the Best of Puchon award at the 2009 Puchon International Fantastic Film Festival,[1] and was nominated for the Golden Kinnaree Award at the 2009 Bangkok International Film Festival.


As a sculptor who is at the peak of his career exploiting the theme of pregnant women, Gambir (Fachri Albar) seems to have the perfect life. In addition to his success, he also has a wife named Talyda (Marsha Timothy); an understanding mother (Henidar Amroe); best friends Rio (Otto Djauhari) and Dandung (Ario Bayu); as well as a gallery owner that Gambir regards very much as his own father, Koh Jimmy (Tio Pakusadewo)

However, a horrible story hidden behind this success . First time Talyda had abortion, which used to be a sculptor Gambir still commonly given inspiration, motivation, and a little coercion, Talyda told Gambir to put their dead fetus into the abdomen of his pregnant statue. From then until married, Talyda make arrangements to Abortion Clinic owner to deliver a fetus that has been issued and stored, to be taken by Gambir who will put it inside the abdomen of the fetus of his pregnant statue, according to him, that's why his sculptures seems alive, because there is something that is supposed to live in it. Although Gambir originally hesitant, he eventually give in to Talyda's coercion, that by doing this will determine his success. Several scenes shows a range of atmosphere and real feelings between people around him and Gambir. Like when Koh Jimmy forced Gambir to make a pregnant sculpture exhibition again by threatening to tell people about the original contents of the statue that used to be seen by Koh Jimmy on the first statue of Gambir.

Later on, in the life of Gambir which is now preparing for another exhibition, Gambir began seeing a post reads "help me" which he saw many around him. This made him frustrated and grew stranger to him. When he was in the studio, he found a door behind the cupboard that is prohibited to be opened by Talyda. She stated that if the door was open, his feelings be destroyed and will make all things between them became extinct. Once on the road he saw the same writing, Gambir see the words "Herosase" under the words "help me" and this is where he is now, at Herosase building without knowing what the purpose or function of the building that was constructed. A reception inside (Atiqah Hasiholan) told him that in addition to members barred. After waiting outside, he met Dandung there and Dandung also invited to Gambir become a member Herosase.

Mona's mother, his manager explained Herosase information to become a member with the condition, there should be no question. Herosase said to be visited to find answers without questions. So, Gambir got a room with a selection of channels, revealing that Herosase is the place to know the movements of the occupants of the houses illegally installing cameras in every corner of the houses. From there he know a little boy who abused his parents, who were present when a few days ago Gambir see, then Gambir also trying to help her by watching his activities. After being told about the death of a small child Dandung it, Gambir became giddy and through the second exhibition of the sculpture pregnant unhappy.

After hearing rumors in the exhibition clandestinely, Gambir know if the little boy might still be alive. He immediately went to look for impressions Herosase and the little boy. When you find it, Gambir see the little boy took a knife in the kitchen and slit the throats of both parents, then slit his own throat. Gambir a shock to see the menu to the channel and find Talyda Saso name listed there. Gambir see it and find the facts behind the fact that he knows. It turned out that the mother told Talyda to have sex with friends Gambir, namely Rio and Dandung to get the child after it turned out that Talyda not want to have children of Gambir. Talyda also been wooing convince Koh Jimmy to act when Gambir who first did not want to make a statue of a pregnant woman again.

Gambir also preparing retaliatory pretext mode closest invite everyone at the dinner welcome Christmas Day. At dinner, Gambir insert a poison into the wine served with meals. Pit poison called Devilish it makes those who drink paralyzed for ten minutes and only get to see and hear just about everything. Begin executing Gambir, Koh Jimmy, Rio and Dandung the way his neck was slashed. Then she buried her face into a large bowl of soup and for Talyda, Gambir shoot his head. Before he died Talyda the influence of the poison began to disappear say the forbidden door. Gambir back door questioning it and break it entered. Without realizing it, the studio behind it has changed its background dark alley.

Gambir also see that the whole room turned out to be the home of the little boy who abused it. He saw the bodies of the mother whose face was the same as the mother Gambir, then that Gambir aware that the world "Gambir and Talyda" is a mere imagination. Gambir back to the actual place, a ward in a mental hospital. Small children who have been seen are pieces of childhood Gambir and before he slit his own throat first, the police came to his house. Gambir who live in solitude became frustrated and become a better person in his own world, escape from the cruel reality of the world. Results mind became a sculptor is thanks to a journalist named Ranti who provide books and magazines as the media's imagination Gambir. Gambir presented Ranti a position in his imagination, is as Talyda. Dandung, Rio, Koh Jimmy, and other figures are the mental hospital administrators, and used as a character in Gambir imagination. At the end of the film, Gambir is now re-imagining himself as a pastor who handles a church.

After the credits finished running, Ranti calls her office to report that she has finished writing her article. The camera moves away and reveals that the name of the mental hospital is Herosase.


  • Fachri Albar as Gambir
  • Marsha Timothy as Talyda/Ranti
  • Ario Bayu as Dandung
  • Otto Djauhari as Rio
  • Tio Pakusadewo as Koh Jimmy
  • Henidar Amroe as Menik Sasongko
  • Arswendi Nasution as Abortion Clinic Guy
  • Atiqah Hasiholan as Claudia/Receptionist
  • Verdi Solaiman as John Wongso
  • Putri Sukardi as Mom
  • Ade Firza Paloh as Dad
  • Kartika Jahja as Mona


Original Soundtrack consist of 18 tracks divided into two parts, one part as band performer and another one as musical score. The score was filled by Mondo of Sore, Zeke Khaseli of Zeke and the Popo, Tika, Notturno, and Mantra band.


Bloody Disgusting's John Leal rated the film 8 out of 10 and wrote in his page; "Overall, The Forbidden Door is a highly recommended Indonesian effort whose storyline gives us a very unique experience that comes well written and with plenty of horror to offset and in fact compliment the drama. Anwar’s direction is equally amazing, giving us a full-frontal approach to the well-executed horror sequences that set this film apart from most of what I have seen in recent time".[2]

Twitch Film's Ard Vijn said in his page that; "Joko Anwar wants to keep his movies accessible for the general public while telling them an outrageous story at the same time, and like with "Kala" it's amazing how well he succeeds. "The Forbidden Door" looks gorgeous (despite its budget!) and jumps effortlessly from genre to genre without alienating its audience." Ard Vijn also wrote in his page that the audience at the IFFR awarded "The Forbidden Door" a very respectable 4.0 out of 5 so maybe people are used to a lot more gore than I expected...[3]

In 2009 at the New York Asian Film Festival, the film was described as a "19th century gothic novel adapted by Alfred Hitchcock and directed by David Lynch" and "one of the sickest, kinkiest movies".[4]


  1. ^ Schackleton, Liz (2009-07-24). "Forbidden Door takes top honours at PiFan". Retrieved 2013-04-10. 
  2. ^ John Leal (2009) Forbidden Door review Bloody Disgusting. Retrieved February 10, 2012.
  3. ^ Vijn, Ard. February 05, 2009. Forbidden Door Conclusion. Twitch Film. Retrieved February 10, 2012.
  4. ^ Guillen, Michael (2010-02-17). "SFIAAFF28: THE FORBIDDEN DOOR (PINTU TERLARANG, 2009): The Twitch Round-up". Twitch Film. Retrieved 2013-04-10. 

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