Cannes award-winning director Brillante Mendoza’s first horror film, “Sapi”, will open at SM Cinemas beginning November 6. A co-production between Solar Films and Centerstage Productions, the film depicts the phenomenon of possession vis a vis the frightening realities of everyday life.
In the film, Sarimanok Broadcasting Network (SBN) needs a miracle to stay alive in the competition with its rival station Philippine Broadcasting Channel eating up the TV audience’s major share. SBN’s news team finds that documenting an actual spiritual possession could be their only hope.
Tasked to head the documentary production is Meryll Flores (Meryll Soriano), a trainee TV executive producer, along with Dennis Marquez (Dennis Trillo), the reporter. Needless to say, the success of the project will also secure their eventual promotion in the company
However, the miracle seems to evade Meryll’s team. They go distant places, schools, provincial areas, religious groups, and faith healers, just to cover the case of mass possession, but to no avail. They simply cannot find a single incident of possession.
Worse, Baron Valdez (Baron Geisler), cameraman of the rival network PBC, is the one who was able to capture the isolated case of demonic possession that involved a high school teacher.
To fulfill her task, Meryll enters into a deal that is more profoundly horrifying than the harrowing scene of paranormal possession. To acquire the needed footage, she buys the outtakes of the Ruby possession case from Baron.
But at the point where Meryll imagines to be the turning point of her new career, an exorcising reality dawns on her with a spiraling effect that mirrors the political system governing the TV network.
Reality is profoundly stranger than fiction, as Sapi offers not only horrifying cases of exorcism, but most importantly, uses the said occult phenomenon as a metaphor for the appalling state of Philippine government; supposed public servants acting as spirit possessing Juan de la Cruz, consuming and corrupting the wealth and minds of the helpless nation.
Sapi opens on November 6 at SM Cinemas