I am an Erik Matti fan so it goes without saying that I definitely intended to watch Seklusyon in this year’s Metro Manila Film Festival. The intriguing trailer was just cherry on top.
The movie recounts the story of an old tradition where deacons are brought to a seclusion house in Quezon before being ordained as priests. There, they met Anghela, a child who possesses a supernatural ability to heal people. She came in the seclusion house with Sister Cecilia, who, as told in the film, has been with the child and her family for several years. It was during the four deacons’ stay with Anghela and Sister Cecilia when their beliefs and faith were put to test.
Seklusyon is not your Shake, Rattle, and Roll alternative. Though frightening, it is not your usual horror flick where the cast fight ghosts, monsters, and zombies. What made the movie scary was the fact that it showcased battling your personal demons and not knowing what is good and what is evil anymore. While there were still some scenes that would make you jump (thanks to religious statues coming to life and the creepy vibe of the movie itself), it did not border on creating unbelievably impossible scenarios for the characters. There were no typical frustrating horror movie situations at all.
However, I felt like the film ended abruptly. There were still several unanswered questions that left me hanging. I’m not sure if it was meant to end that way or if I just haven’t been paying close attention to the entire movie, which makes me want to re-watch it for my own sake.
Erik Matti films have always had good cinematography; the movie exuded a creepy and mysterious vibe which is just apt given its genre. The only issue I have is with the actors except for Rhed Bustamante who excellently portrayed the terrifying Anghela. Ronnie Alonte, one of the leads who played Miguel, had so much screen time but I felt like he could have done a lot more than what is asked for in his character as one of the 4 deacons. Then again, almost all of the actors in the film are neophytes, they could perhaps do better should they have other upcoming movies.
If you want to spooked and be puzzled, Seklusyon will highly likely satisfy those needs. It definitely is one of the best Erik Matti films that I’ve watched.