2.5Overall Score
Reader Rating 65 Votes
A take on battling one’s inner demons, Seklusyon is Erik Matti‘s return to cinema’s most difficult genre to pull off: horror. It requires the utilization of its various resources – sound, editing, cinematography, and most of all, story – with utmost precision. In this regard, it follows that any attempt that falls short of its requirements, should be understandable – to a certain extent. I must admit I had high expectations for this movie, with Matti at the helm. I am still a huge fan of his previous works; and thus sadly disappointed by his most recent offering.

Four deacons are locked (?) for seven days inside an abandoned seminary/place (?), where they must withstand temptation before they are able to fulfill their calling to priesthood. Soon, their inner demons pay a visit.

The first one-third of the film was decent. The novelty of creepiness drawn from what is unknown (or known, as for the case of a holy statue) was engaging for only a certain length of time. Then various familiar horror tropes are used (jump scares, tears of blood, a confused archetype of a demon child). These would have been understandable had it not been for its severely didactic approach.

Contrary to its obvious but asymptotic attempts to discuss the fallibility of one’s faith, or the grey area of morality, it babbles more than it shows. And literally, biblical passages are splashed onscreen complete with highlighted keywords a la Korina Sanchez to make the audience realize that they’re in for something more profound and allegorical than what it already is. The film also puts visual cues that turn into spoonfed plot details that equally insult the audience’s capability to do basic guesswork and to piece together details through logic. It is at this point, starting at the latter two-thirds of the film, that the film falls off its course.

The film could have been decent, but the misguided and fragmented editing severely fractures the narrative. It felt like they wanted to cover so many things with characters that are poorly developed. Add this to a synthesized musical score that felt cheap. The only saving grace was its yellow-tinged cinematography. But it was just more of a grace note to matter.

Seklusyon closes in as a film that could have been great, but terribly missed. It was ultimately lost and confused by its own making, like its characters and audience who are all painfully searching for a way out.

  • Blah blah

    It was a disappointment. The movie was a pretentious attempt in making horror which fails in delivering its most basic essence. The film felt like a salad of imagery forced together to fill in an hour and a half of viewer misery. The motivation of the characters were not clear at all, the acting cheap at its best, the plot unsatisfyingly thin. The concept and the premise of the movie holds so much potential but it wasn’t able to live up to it. Good writing was taken for granted over visuals. It was really that bad.

    • Criticph

      I agree. A total disappointment. I understood what Matti was going for but it failed to deliver. It looked like a college school project.