‘Kisah Tanah Jawa: Pocong Gundul’ Ending Explained & Movie Recap: What Happens To Hao And Sari?

Kisah Tanah Jawa: Pocong Gundul by Awi Suryadi sets up a proper gory atmosphere that will literally give you more jump scares than ever. This Indonesian horror film will scare you, teach you about retrocognitive abilities—how they let people see into the past—and introduce you to a special ghost in Indonesian mythology called a Pocong. The story is about a guy named Hao who inherited the ability to see the past from his grandfather. At first, he used this talent to study history. But then he realized he could actually help people with it, especially when a girl named Sari went missing and her parents asked Hao for help finding their daughter. While trying to find Sari, Hao and Sari both got trapped by a Pocong. But this isn’t just any Pocong—this one is far more sinister and dangerous than any other supernatural being. Who is this Pocong? How does he harm them? And can Hao save himself and Sari from the Pocong’s attack? Let’s find out together from this explainer of the movie Kisah Tanah Jawa: Pocong Gundul.

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Spoilers Ahead


Why did Hao want to help Sari’s parents? 

Since Hao’s childhood, he has been with his grandfather, who has mastered the retrocognitive abilities to look into people’s pasts using some kind of catalyst, like their belongings, to connect with them. After his grandfather’s death, Hao mastered these abilities himself. He even gave seminars about it at universities with his best friend, Rida, who documented everything with her camera. Hao usually used his abilities for historical research, not for finding people. But one day, a couple named Mr. and Mrs. Sujatmiko attended his seminar. Their daughter, Sari, had been missing for two days, and they didn’t know where she was. They had been following Hao’s work and believed he could connect with Sari’s spirit to find out what had happened to her or where she was. They didn’t want to rely on the police because they knew it would take much longer for them to find their daughter. Hao had never worked on such a personal case before. But seeing the troubled parents, who had no idea where their daughter was, made Hao feel sorry for them. He decided to help find Sari.

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Did Hao find Sari? 

Hao went to Sari’s school, Budi Pertiwi High, the last place she had been seen, to try and track her down from there. The school supervisor, Ms. Wati, allowed Hao and the Sujatmiko couple to enter the school at night. Why? Because Sari wasn’t the only student who had gone missing; two other students had disappeared from the school before Sari as well. Feeling sorry for Sari and her parents, Ms. Wati wanted to help Hao find her. She took them to the sewing classroom, the last place Sari had been seen. As a catalyst, Hao took Sari’s scissors to connect to Sari’s soul. When he used his abilities, what he saw next was beyond his imagination. Sari had stayed behind in the classroom after everyone else went home because she wanted to finish sewing her clothes, as the sewing machine at her house was broken. Soon, she heard a thudding noise. Scared, she looked behind to see what it was, and a ghostly creature appeared in her face, which naturally scared her to death. The sight terrified her so much that she accidentally stabbed her finger with the sewing machine needle. In pain and panic, she tried to run away from the school. But something even more terrifying happened. The ghostly creature, looking like a demon with sharp teeth, attacked her and knocked her out. It then dragged her and threw her into a well to trap her there. From this vision, Hao discovered Sari’s location. He took a rope and rescued Sari from the well. Her parents were finally relieved to have her back.


Why did Hao want the help of Mr. Saman? 

But don’t think it’s some kind of big achievement because now, not only was Sari in danger, but Hao was also in the grip of this deadly Pocong the moment he connected with Sari. This Pocong wasn’t ordinary—it looked skeletal, but unlike other Pocongs, this one had no cloth covering its face, and its sharp teeth were very visible, which was very odd. Hao, on the other hand, started having nightmares about a strange man who haunted his dreams, and that man was showing him a grave with Hao’s name on it. He even began seeing this man, or the Pocong, everywhere he went, and sometimes he saw grave dirt around him. It was horrifying. Then, Hao got a call from Sari’s mother. She said Sari couldn’t sleep because, every time she closed her eyes, she saw terrible dreams of the Pocong tormenting her. The Pocong threatened to take her wounded finger as a sacrifice to drain her life for some sort of black magic. Seeing that they were both in danger and after talking to Ms. Wati about the two other kids who went missing from the school, Hao realized the only person who could help him was Mr. Saman, the security guard from when the school was first built. Mr. Saman might know the details about this Pocong and how to get rid of it to save themselves.

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What happened to Mr. Saman? 

Mr. Saman used to be the security guard at Budi Pertiwi High School. When Rida and Hao went to his house to talk to him and ask for his help, his daughter wouldn’t allow it. It seemed like they were afraid to talk about such sinister matters. Even Mr. Saman said he promised his wife he wouldn’t talk about it anymore because many lives, those of his loved ones, had gone missing. But seeing Rida and Hao in trouble, he changed his mind and told them the whole story. There was a powerful shaman named Walisdi who practiced black magic. Mr. Saman used to be one of his disciples. He saw Walisdi torment people with his black magic to gain power, fame, and money. One day, Walisdi made a pact with a jinn named Banaspati to live eternally. This allowed him to remain a bald-headed Pocong even after his death. Every ten years, he would come out of his grave and suck the life out of people by attacking their fingers to regain his power. This time, his targets were Sari and Hao, as they had the same Javanese birthday as Walisdi. Hao decided he must go to Walisdi’s grave to end this torment once and for all, using his retrocognitive powers to see what happened in the past. Mr. Saman joined Hao on his mission because he felt guilty for what happened to the kids in the past and now to Hao and Sari. After all, he had been an accomplice in Walisdi’s black magic and wanted to help make things right. However, on their way, the car got stuck because the Pocong had already started haunting them. They tried to get away, but the Pocong attacked Mr. Saman first, and he ended up taking his life. Before dying, Mr. Saman managed to tell Hao the location of Walisdi’s grave—it was under the big banyan tree behind the school.


Did Hao defeat the Pocong? 

Obviously, Hao defeated the Pocong. As we know, Hao is the hero of the movie, and heroes never die, no matter how deadly the demon attacking them. So, how did he do it? Well, first, he took Mr. Saman’s rings to use as catalysts. By doing this, he connected himself to Mr. Saman’s old soul and his days as a disciple of Walisdi in the hope of finding a way to defeat the Pocong. But the Pocong was very strong and ended up throwing Hao into the well, the same way it did with Sari. Thankfully, Rida came to his rescue. She helped him get out of the well, and together they came up with an idea. The only way to defeat the demon Pocong was to make him powerless. To do that, they needed to untie the spellbinding knots in the dead body of Walisdi in the grave. So, they started digging up the graveyard to try to find the knots, and they untied them with a dagger they found in the grave. But the Pocong began attacking them to disrupt their efforts. It threw Rida away and ended up breaking her bones. As the Pocong was about to bend down Hao’s finger and suck the life out of Hao, he attacked it with the dagger. This weakened the Pocong and gave Hao the chance to untie all the knots around Walisdi’s dead body. Ultimately, Hao defeated the Pocong and saved himself and Rida.

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At the end of the movie, we see that Sari also got out of the grip of the Pocong, just like Hao did. This experience taught Hao a lot. Maybe from now on, instead of using his retro cognitive abilities just for his history research, he would use them for people’s benefit too, just like his grandfather used to do. He is sure his grandfather would have wanted that if he were still alive. Perhaps he will become an expert in defeating demons, considering he already has firsthand experience defeating the Pocong. We can expect that he will be able to defeat any other supernatural creatures too, if needed.


Sutanuka Banerjee
Sutanuka Banerjee
Sutanuka, a devoted movie enthusiast, embarked on her cinematic journey since childhood, captivated by the enchanting world of the Harry Potter series. This early passion ignited her love for movies, providing an escape into the magical realms of cinema. She is currently pursuing a master's degree in media science, combining her academic pursuits with her unwavering passion for the silver screen.

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