Perth teen horror The Curse of Baba Yaga comes to TikTok

The found footage series follows two schoolboys, James and Luca, as they uncover a string of disappearances in their peaceful suburban town.

Perth’s first-ever teen horror TikTok series, The Curse of Baba Yaga, is set to haunt the small screens of smartphones worldwide, starting from Friday 7 April.

The found footage series follows two high school boys, James and Luca, as they uncover a string of disappearances in their peaceful suburban town. The series is the brainchild of first-time writer and director Christopher Colley, who also features on-screen as James, and producer Matt Hodgkinson.

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(Re)making Baba Yaga

With a background in acting, Colley aimed to break new ground in queer characters on screen, using nuanced stories that reflect his own lived experiences. ‘Coming from a Croatian background, I was inspired to revisit some traditional folklore stories, stories of witches and monsters, but telling them through a queer lens,’ he explained.

‘Inspired by my love of horror movies, the painfully awkward romances, and my strange obsession with witches, The Curse of Baba Yaga was born’.

For Hodgkinson, who has worked on major productions such as The Wolverine, I, Frankenstein, Paper Planes, and H is for Happiness, developing a series for TikTok has been a totally different ball game.

‘It’s a very different way of doing things,’ he said, ‘but what a massive and exciting opportunity to explore how stories can reach so many viewers all over the world. It’s an incredibly exciting time to be a filmmaker.’

LGBTQIA+ romance and an ancient witch

The Curse of Baba Yaga‘s cast includes 20-year-old actor Luke Jai McIntosh, who made his feature film debut in Martin Wilson’s Pieces (2022), and now stars as Luca. The series weaves high school romance, disappearing townsfolk, and legends of an ancient witch through 15 episodes ranging from 60 to 90 seconds. It is also scheduled for a YouTube Shorts premiere.

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Selected for development funding from Screenwest and Screen Australia through their Out Now funding initiative, which focuses on LGBQTIA+ stories highlighting diversity in the screen industry, The Curse of Baba Yaga promises to be a ‘thrilling and spine-chilling’ series.

The Curse of Baba Yaga will stream on TikTok from 7 April.

Silvi Vann-Wall is a journalist, podcaster, and filmmaker. They joined ScreenHub as Film Content Lead in 2022. Twitter: @SilviReports