European Premiere

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Country / Year: Philippines / 2017
Genre: Horror
Director: Pedring Lopez
Starring: Ella Cruz, Bret Jackson, AJ Muhlach

Country / Year

Philippines / 2017




Pedring Lopez


Ella Cruz, Bret Jackson, AJ Muhlach


Another genre offering from the Philippine’s hottest genre film-maker Pedring Lopez, East Winds are proud to present the European premiere of ‘Darkroom’, a digital horror that is the first found footage horror to emerge from the Philippines, and what a chilling introduction to the genre Lopez offers!

The film offers the a-typical genre trope of the found footage films, seemingly exhausted by the likes of ‘Paranormal Activity’ and the slew of sequels and imitations that followed.

As a group of beautiful teens enter an abandoned house, evil spirits awaken, and all hell breaks loose. But such a brief overview belies the sophistication of Lopez, and the thematic pre-occupations of ‘Darkroom’.

The film opens with a VHS recording of an exorcism – dated February 24, 1986 – a key date in the Philippines – the day before the EDSA People Power’s Revolution, a significant national event that has been engraved in the hearts and minds of every Filipino – or is it?

In this digital age of instant gratification, self-indulgence, narcissism and downright belligerence, who really cares? Such a thematic strand is constantly toyed with in ‘Darkroom’, as the affluent self-obsessed teens, each suitably fitting a genre stereotype, are slowly confronted with their own mortality – Lopez’s screenplay is not focused on uncovering who they are, but more on what their collective represent.

An amusing scene sees the digital savvy teens drooling over the analogue kit that is discovered – the word ‘Hipster’ banded around – and it is of course this very equipment that brings about their bloody demise.

Like the best genre filmmakers, Lopez understands that the real horror is not ghoulish apparitions, but rather the flawed human psyche. For all the underlying themes, ‘Darkroom’ delivers on the scares and the visceral blood-letting.

A simple horror chiller, or a dark commentary on teenage digital identity – you decide when ‘Darkroom’ receives its European Premiere at the East Winds Film Festival.

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With a touch of ‘Rosemary’s Baby’, Lopez takes his creepy premise in some surprising directions.

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