Joko Anwar’s Nightmares and Daydreams — Episode 1 Recap & Review

Old House

Episode 1 of Joko Anwar’s Nightmares and Daydreams titled “Old House” starts in the year 2015 when a taxi driver named Panji drops a nurse off at a shelter home for the aged. Panji asks the nurse if he can admit his mother to the shelter home but the nurse scolds him for trying to abandon his mother.

At the shelter home, he meets Nurse Naya who asks him to meet the manager of the shelter home so that he can admit his mother there. After going home, Panji tells his wife Rara about his conversation with the nurse. Rara tells Panji that she can manage taking care of his mother but he insists that she needs to look after their son – Hagi too.

Just then, Panji’s mother – Ranti comes out of her room and talks to Hagi which reassures Rara that Ranti is okay. Rara tries to reassure Panji and tells him she will be able to take care of Ranti when they notice that Ranti has taken Hagi outside the house. Panji and Rara panic as they look for Hagi and Ranti all over the house.

However, Ranti leaves Hagi on a chair on the building’s rooftop. Ranti comes back home and has forgotten about Hagi. Rara and Panji panic, asking Ranti where Hagi is but the old woman states that she has gone to the rooftop. Rara rushes to the terrace just in time as Hagi is about to fall off the roof. The next day, Panji goes to the shelter home to admit his mother there.

There, Panji meets a man named Bambang who is trying to meet his mother. Nurse Siti tells Bambang that he will have to wait until later that night to meet his mother. Banmbang tells Panji how the shelter home is a sinister place and warns him against leaving his mother there.

Nurse Naya brings Ranti after giving her a tour of the shelter home. Ranti believes that Panji had brought her to the shelter home to work there as a chef. Panji tells Ranti that she is going to live in the shelter home which comes as a shock to Ranti. She refuses to stay there but Ranti refuses. Ranti starts crying and begs at Panji’s feet, asking him to take her home.

Panji ignores his mother’s cries and drives away, leaving her behind. In their car, Rara tells Panji that by leaving his mother in the shelter home, they are both going to hell. That night, Panji wakes up to a nightmare of Ranti being killed in the shelter home. He gets out of bed and rushes to the shelter home to bring Ranti back.

He goes looking around the shelter home and meets Nurse Naya who tries to reassure him that his guilt is normal. Panji asks to see Ranti but Nurse Naya claims that Ranti has calmed down and it would not be right to trouble her all over again. Panji hesitantly goes back to his car but instead of going back home, he goes back inside the shelter home.

Panji finds himself inside a room where a young boy named Dimitri shows up. He hides in the closet but Dimitri dresses up in a black coat and enters a hidden room behind the closet. Panji follows Dimitri and enters the hidden room where he finds Bambang tied to a bed. He asks Panji to help him but Paji is not able to untie him.

Panji tells Bambang that he will return to help him. He hears a noise and hides under Bambang’s bed. Just then, Dimitri is joined by Wisnu and Rossie who are wearing glow-in-the-dark coats similar to his. The trio take Bambang’s bed to a different room where more people in glow-in-the-dark coats are waiting.

Panji watches from under the bed as Bambang is taken to meet his mother – Kemala. Kemala calls Bambang out for abandoning her at the shelter home. Wisnu tells Bambang that he has to pay for his actions and places him under a creature. The creature tries to punish Bambang for abandoning his mother but since Bambang is resistant, the group’s leader – Noto, calls The Whisperer to convince Bambang.

Bambang eventually gives in and the creature takes Bambang’s youth and transfers it onto his mother. Meanwhile, Panji manages to sneak out of there but forgets his phone. Noto tells Kemala that she was granted her youth back and she can now join their team. However, they find Panji’s phone ringing. Kemala picks up the phone and takes it to the creature which startles it.

Noto asks Kemala to hand over the phone to him and goes looking for the owner of the phone. Panji tries to escape the place but cannot find a way out. Panji runs into Nurse Siti who is also a member of the group. Panji tries to make sense of what happened inside the room where Bambang’s youth was transferred to Kemala.

Nurse Siti tells Panji that the people living in the shelter home are all affluent and will live on for generations. She states that they need people who will work for them to keep the shelter home functioning. Thus, they allowed to admit Kemala there who would help clean the place and Ranti who would help cook for them.

Nurse Siti tells Panji that she was 103 years old and was forced to sacrifice her child to get her youth back. Nurse Siti tells Panji that she was trying her best to make this ritual stop and tells him about The Banished. The nurse reveals that The Banished were creatures that were made after a parent-child duo refused to take part in the ritual.

Panji tells Nurse Siti that he will not be going home without his mother. Nurse Siti gives Panji her coat and asks him to be wary of The Banished. She adds that The Banished cannot see anything but can smell and asks him to use her coat to mask his scent. Panji finds his mother in a room but she does not remember him due to her dementia.

Panji apologises to Ranti for leaving her there and asks her to leave with him. Ranti states that she was chained to the bed. Panji goes out looking for a key but is met by The Banished. Nurse Siti shows up just in time to save Panji from being eaten by the creatures. Panji frees his mother and begins to take her away when Noto and the rest of the group find him.

Panji begs, asking Noto to let Ranti go home with him but Noto reminds Panji how had abandoned his mother due to her dementia. Later, Panji is taken to the creature where they begin to transfer his youth to Ranti. The creature claims that Panji was not willing to go ahead with the ritual.

The Whisperer tries to convince Panji and he looks at Ranti, asking if she wants this. Ranti tells Panji that he should go and look after Hagi. Panji uses the lighter in his pocket and sets the creature ablaze. The creature amplifies the fire and Ranti dies in the process while the shelter home ends up burning down to the ground.

The episode ends with a hand emerging out of the burned-down shelter home.

The Episode Review

The show is very interesting to watch and it has only been one episode. I am enjoying the lore behind the show and after reading up on Joko Anwar, it looks like he is a well-renowned director who is well-known for his horror films. I am sure the audience who loves his films will expect a lot from this show.

From the first episode itself, we can see that the maker is trying to impart the message of how adults end up abandoning their parents once they are older. However, the centre of this shelter home for the elderly is the rich trying to create a colony where they can live for eternity.

I wonder if the upcoming episodes of this one are interconnected and it will be really interesting to see how this one progresses after the way episode 1 ended.


Next Episode

Expect a full-season review later this weekend!

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