MALEDICTO (2019) Movie Review
Maledicto is a 2019 Filipino supernatural horror feature film about a cynical priest who must find redemption through performing exorcisms.
Directed by Mark Meily from a screenplay written by Jonathan Guillermo, the Cignal Entertainment-Unitel Productions movie stars Tom Rodriguez, Jasmin Curtis Smith, Miles Ocampo and Inah de Belen.
Xavier “Xavi” Lavezares (Tom Rodriguez) was supposed to be a brilliant psychiatrist with a bright future ahead of him until his sister Mara kills herself in front of him in the throes of a supposed demonic possession. Trying to find answers in a vocation he thought he’d never take up, Xavi becomes a man of the cloth who spends his spare time taking apart cases for exorcisms.
After the Vatican calls for an increase in the number of exorcists worldwide, Father Xavi is tapped to become an exorcist. However, when a botched exorcism ends in murder and leaves a supernatural echo from the trauma of his past, he enters a downward spiral as he is forced to confront the possibility of a reality far greater than his own.
When idealistic young clairvoyant Sister Barbara “Barbie” Vergel de Dios finds one of her former students experiencing the symptoms of possession, she is convinced that it is real. But she has trouble finding an exorcist to believe her.
When Father Xavi is put on the case as a last resort, she sees one last chance to find help for the girl. With the aid of his keen observation skills, his rigorous learning, a heady clairvoyant assistant and perhaps a little faith, the cynical Father Xavi must find the means to confront gripping darkness bigger than himself, and in doing so find some measure of purpose and redemption…
Reviews [click links to read more]:
“The cinematography seemed to be using a hazy filter to add to the mystical atmosphere. In some scenes, the camera was focusing and defocusing on the characters while their conversations were going on. Special visual effects, like the floating of Agnes’ body or the lengthening of her tongue, were cleanly executed for a local film.” ABS-CBN News
“Maledicto’s director, Mark Meily, crafts a sufficiently scary movie that also delves into the intricacies of exorcism […] The actors deliver an adequately committed and believable performances, with the consistently captivating Jasmine Curtis-Smith getting a lot of attention.” PEP.ph
“As it listlessly develops both its characters and plot, it offers hardly any real comfort in its many setups, relying heavily on its audience to build interest in a lore that is never fully realized. It doesn’t help that the film is visually somber and lacking in character. While the visual effects are fine, the film doesn’t really astound in a way that makes its spectacles memorable.” Rappler
Cast and characters:
- Tom Rodriguez … Father Xavi Lavezares
- Jasmin Curtis Smith … Sister Barbie (as Jasmine Curtis)
- Miles Ocampo … Agnes Villacorte
- Inah de Belen … Mara Lavezares
- Nina Ricci Alagao … Sister Stella
- Nonie Buencamino … Domingo Villacorte
- Shamaine Buencamino … Cecilia Villacorte
- Menggie Cobarrubias … Cardinal Martinez
- Martin Escudero … Frederico Manalang
- Franco Laurel … Father Jay Cinco
- Liza Lorena … Manang Sisa
- Eric Quizon … Archbishop Delfino
- Che Ramos … Kitty Colacion
- Lianne Valentin … Vicky
- 111 minutes
- Audio: Dolby Atmos