DIRECTOR Joven Tan doesn’t mind if some folks questioned the inclusion of his movie, “Otlum (Multo)”, as an official entry in the coming Metro Manila filmfest that opens on Christmas Day. Some quarters even questioned his credentials since he bested out the entry, “Right to Kill”, which was helmed by Brillante Mendoza no less, the only local filmmaker who has won the best director award in the prestigious Cannes International Film Festival.
“You can’t please everyone naman so hindi ko na lang pinapansin,” he says. “Huwag akong tanungin nila kundi 'yung judges ng screening committee na pumili sa amin. Sumali lang kami at sinuwerte kaming mapili. Kung hindi kami napili, hindi ko naman kukuwestiyunin 'yung choices ng judges sa nagustuhan nilang entries. Basta masaya na lang tayo.”
What does he think are the chances of his movie at the box office when he doesn’t have big name stars to help attract viewers? “Okay naman ang cast, puro sila mahuhusay at maaasahan sa pag-arte. Sina Buboy Villar at Jerome Ponce, parehong award-winners. At ang introducing namin ditong si Ricci Rivero, grabe ang dami ng fans niya as a basketball player. Hindi ko pa man siya nakikilala, ang daming nagsasabing kunin ko siyang artista. Tapos, one time, nasa mall ako, may pinagkakaguluhan doon sa mall show. Ang dami niyang fans. Sabi ko, sino 'yan? Ricci Rivero nga raw. So I googled his name at 'yun, nakita ko kung gaano karami ang followers niya sa social media at doon nga ako nagkaroon ng idea na isama siya sa cast ng gagawin kong movie, ang ‘Otlum’ nga. At sa history ng filmfest, laging malakas sa takilya ang horror movies, e, just like the ‘Shake Rattle & Roll’ series to which our movie pays some sort of homage.”
The movie is about a group of friends who stay in a haunted house. “Buboy Villar plays Fred, who’s neglected by his family so he finds company in his barkada in the campus, sina Jerome Ponce As Allan, Ricci Rivero as Dindo, Michelle Vito as Verna, Vitto Marquez as Erwin and Danzel Fernandez as Caloy. But before he can join their group, he has to undergo an initiation. Kailangang mag-stay siya overnight in an old, abandoned orphanage na hindi nila alam haunted pala. They all got stuck inside and there seems to be no way out. Doon na naganap ang mangyaring katatakutan that will send the audience screaming in fright. Kasama rin sa movie sina John Estrada, Irma Adlawan, Jairus Aquino, Pen and Ping Medina. Kung mahilig kayo sa scary movies, be sure itong unahin nyong panoorin when the filmfest opens on Christmas Day.”