Erik Matti does a great job in playing around different beliefs into what’s good and what’s evil. What makes it better is that he incorporates it as a horror movie. It may not be as creepy as expected by the horror aficionados but the complete seclusion in a completely quiet area and being haunted for one’s past sins in presence of devil already intensify the fear, thus making it into a worth fearing horror masterpiece. The deep and complex story line, the twists, the detective and the psychological thriller parts of the film and the acting (kudos to Rhed Bustamante for playing her character naturally as Anghela, the child sent by the devil) make the film worth the appreciation.
Beware of the false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves. – Matthew 7:15.
So where does the evil lie? This is the question the audience ask himself or herself while watching the film, thus the philosophical implication. It starts with the belief that Anghela, a known miracle child healer in town, was sent by God and ends in a realization that she is indeed a false prophet sent by the devil as shown through the anagram of her name “Ngalhea” (“Rejoice! The Devil is here!”). Despite that, there are some people who still believe her as a saint. There are others that never did such as Miguel, who already has doubts on how she tempts him and his co-deacons to disobey the rules given by God in a secluded area, and the priest, who begins to investigate Anghela and the origins of her healing power as soon as she is refuged to spend time with the deacons.
The political implications are equally present in the hierarchy of the church, the ones on top governing the rest of the church and the church governing the entire town. The religious side of the film lies more in the moral lessons for Catholic audiences to obey the first two commandments, which are to believe in God alone and not in other Gods, and to not call God in vain. The film also strengthens their faith and relationship with God as well as motivates them to resist the temptation of the devil which is sometimes in the form of an angel sent by God (thus, to beware of the false prophets). Along with entertainment and acting, these three major implications make the movie worth tuning to despite the minimal gore. Not forgetting to mention that the village setting is a realistic portrayal to the World War II’s.
Due to less gore and scenes that will make a person jump out of scare, “Seklusyon” is made for both feeble minded and thick skinned audiences when it comes to watching horror. It best suits audiences who are into films with deep and complex story lines.
Title (translated) Seclusion
Release Date December 25, 2016
Directed By Erik Matti
Starring Ronnie Alonte, Dominic Roque, Rhed Bustamante, Phoebe Walker, Neil Ryan Sese, Lou Veloso
Length 90 min long
The story is set during World War II. A group of deacons are sent in a secluded area of the church for a week to accomplish their final training before they become priests and are then given a set of rules to strictly follow as they are known to be sent by God. However, the haunted presence of devil each deacon experiences seems to intensify, as soon as the child healer Anghela is brought to the secluded area for refuge.
Overall Rating 5/5 stars (10/10)