Amid the supposed “struggling atmosphere” in local cinema due to poor box office results of most Filipino films released early 2019, Mikhail Red bravely rolls out “Eerie” about the gruesome death of a student at a convent school.
At a conference, the director said the work is “world-class.” It sees for the first time a partnership between Singaporean entertainment incubator Aurora Media and ABS-CBN’s Star Cinema. The movie had its world premiere in Singapore late last year and has since been shown in Cambodia, Thailand, China, and Malaysia.
Mikhail, who won numerous awards in different international festivals including the 2016 Tokyo International Film Festival for his movie “Birdshot,” stated his goal is always to come up with “films for export.”
“Eerie” was shot in 20 days at a seminary. The story is about school guidance counselor Pat Consolacion who involves herself with the students in hopes of helping them cope, and at the same time, for her to uncover the mysteries of the student’s death.
The main cast is headed by Bea Alonzo and no less than ABS-CBN Chief Content Officer and awarded actress Charo Santos-Concio.
Charo lauded the young director, who happens to be the son of a leading figure in the independent alternative film, Raymond Red.
“He has the grasp of the film language,” she said of Mikhail. “He knows what to do. In fact, the whole film was on storyboard. Everything was clear from the start, even the rhythm of our shooting. He knows his craft very well. He had the movie in his mind from the start. He is organized and very efficient.”
Bea and Charo find their character and the story itself relatable since they both studied at a Catholic school.
Doing horror movies has a special place in Charo’s heart. Her first movie, “Itim,” was of the genre and her performance there won an acting award at the 1977 Asian Film Festival.
Will “Eerie” put another trophy on her shelf, we asked.
“What can I say? I just gave my best. You know, our eyes, our perspective is different from one another. So the answer is not in our hands.”
Charo is all praises for Bea after working with her here for the first time.
“She was only 13 years old when I met her and I’ve followed her career since. She is one of the young actresses I admire,” she said.
“I felt so excited I look forward to working with her. She works hard. She comes to the set prepared. Her attitude towards her craft is admirable. Bea is an intelligent, intuitive, and generous actress.”
Bea blushed. For her, being able to with Charo is a dream come true.
Being the boss of ABS-CBN, was she intimidated at all?
“Who wouldn’t be?” Bea laughed. “At first, I was really scared and nervous but when we got to the set, I saw a different Ma’am Charo. I saw her wearing a different hat and that is her being an actress. She is always open to collaboration. And it’s nice that we share an art together.”
“Eerie” is Bea’s first horror movie. She considers it a milestone in her career.
“I can proudly say that I’m now out of my comfort zone,” she smiled.
Also in the cast are Jake Cuenca and Maxene Magalona.
“Eerie” is set for nationwide release on March 27.