UNLIKE HIS PREVIOUS films, Erik Matti’s ‘Seklusyon’ won’t give you the biggest names in the showbiz industry but promising stars with talents good enough to make the true strength of the film shine through.
‘Seklusyon’ is this year’s entry of Reality Entertainment headed by the dynamic duo of director Erik Matti and producer Dondon Monteverde to the Metro Manila Film Festival (MMFF) 2016. The studio brought us award-winning films, ‘On The Job’ and ‘Honor Thy Father,’ among others.
The film stars budding actors Ronnie Alonte and Dominic Roque, and total newcomers John Vic de Guzman, and JR Versales in the role of four deacons who are sent to a seclusion house in order to resist The Devil’s attempt to attack their faith and lead them away from the path of holiness.
In our recent meet up with Matti during the press conference of ‘Seklusyon’ in Quezon City on Friday, December 16, the award-winning director said though his casts are mostly newbies, they did not fail to deliver. The actors successfully brought out what’s required of their characters and contributed to making the best out of his film that relies deeply on its story.
In fact, ‘Seklusyon’ received a very good review from the leading US-based newspaper, The Hollywood Reporter, with film critic Clarence Tsui described the horror thriller as “a grainy, gory parable about the triumph of evil.” The film was the lone Philippine entry in the non-competition Hidden Dragons section of the 1st International Film Festival & Awards Macau (IFFAM) where it staged its world premiere last December 11.
The Promising Actors as Deacons
The most familiar names among the lead actors are Ronie Alonte and Dominic Roque but it’s Ronie’s character, Miguel, who is taking the lead in ‘Seklusyon.’ Miguel is a righteous deacon who enters the seclusion house to become closer to God but is haunted by the apparition of a woman he used to love.
The 20-year old actor shot to fame last year as a male dancer-member of #Hashtag in ‘It’s Showtime’ on ABS-CBN. He has since acted in several episodes of the long-running drama anthology series, ‘Maalaala Mo Kaya’ including one based on his real life story.When asked about his absence in IFFAM,
When asked about his absence in IFFAM, Ronnie told the press his management didn’t allow him to leave the country for several other showbiz commitments. It is indeed a busy year for Ronnie as he needed to leave immediately during the presscon to prepare for his December 17 concert. While he leads ‘Seklusyon,’ Ronnie also stars in another MMFF 2016 entry, ‘Vince & Kath & James’ under Star Cinema.
Like Ronnie’s character, Miguel, each of the other three deacons namely Fabian, Carlo and Marco experience visions of their guilt from the past, haunting their thoughts immensely. These deacons are portrayed by three equally promising actors.
One of our favorite Kapamilya actors to date and definitely one of the most beautiful faces (and bodies) in showbiz, Dominic Roque, has been acting in films and television since 2010. His projects include hit teleseryes ‘Aryana,’ ‘Moon of Desire,’ ‘Pangako Sa’Yo’ and most recently, ‘FPJ’s Ang Probinsyano’ as well as the film, ‘Pagpag: Siyam na Buhay.’
John Vic de Guzman is a total newcomer to acting but not exactly unfamiliar with celebrity status. The star volleyball player is the team captain of the College of Saint Benilde Blazers who is blessed with his own growing fan base.
While also a newcomer to acting, JR Versales is not exactly new to the Reality Entertainment family, having worked behind the scenes on ‘Tiktik: The Aswang Chronicles’ and ‘Wapakman’ prior to being cast in ‘Seklusyon.’ At first glance, JR might just look like an average Filipino but his Moreno complexion gives him a strong presence even when surrounded with other gorgeous hunks. We won’t be surprised should he be cast in other films after this.
The four young actors are complemented by a stellar cast led by sought after child actress Rhed Bustamante (‘Maria Leonora Teresa,’ ‘The Amazing Praybeyt Benjamin’) who plays Anghela, the child with miraculous healing powers and introducing Phoebe Walker (‘Gayuma’) who essays the role of the child’s equally mysterious guardian who will turn the deacons’ secluded retreat into a terrifying nightmare.
Matti and Monteverde have never been shy about taking chances with talented newcomers.
“As a studio, our number one priority is the material. We write the script without thinking of who to cast, at least not right away. We have many established actors who are very good but at the same time, we also have a good number of talents who are just waiting to be discovered,” Monteverde noted.
“We’ve always believed that when we do fantasy or horror, we do those genres without regard for big stars that often come with certain expectations. We just get the right actors for the right role,” added director Erik Matti.
The film also stars veteran actors Neil Ryan Sese, Lou Veloso, Elora Españo, Jerry O’ Hara, and Teroy Guzman.
Catch the film during the opening day of MMFF 2016 on December 25. Our review about the film on the blog soon.