Although known for his flashier action-thrillers such as On The Job and The Aswang Chronicles, Filipino director Erik Matti is no stranger to the insufferably atmospheric. In his deft hands, Nine-Day Novena (Pa-Siyam) proved to be an unflinching ghost story about a dysfunctional family reunited by the recent passing of their mother.
Following his grim crime drama Honor Thy Father, Matti returns with Seclusion (Seklusyon), a period thriller following a ritual which sets deacons out into a "holy fortress" to ward them off of temptation seven days before their priesthood. The film is set in the late 40's, the last instance of the said ritual.
It recalls to mind a horror short film Matti directed in 2012 called Vesuvius, in which a young man sees demons hiding behind the disguise of a holy visitation. If you haven't watched it yet, do yourself a solid and watch it here.
Ronnie Alonte, Neil Ryan Sese, and Lou Veloso star in the film, due out on Christmas Day in the Philippines as part of the lineup of the 2016 Metro Manila Film Festival.