The film is inspired by the real-life story of Clarita Villanueva, whose name was all over the news in the 1950s because of the claims that she had experienced a demonic possession
It was in 1953 when the name Clarita Villanueva has been the talk of the town because of an unusual headline—demonic possession. In different accounts, it was claimed that she was possessed by demonic spirits while she was in jail.
The story of 17-year-old Clarita Villanueva—the first reported demonic possession in Asia–is the inspiration behind Black Sheep’s latest movie offering, “Clarita”, which locally has a total gross of over Php 70-million as of June 27.
The film “Clarita” is inspired by the mystery behind the story on what occurred during Clarita’s (Jodi Sta. Maria) demonic possession and exorcism, where her faith and those of the people who tried to help her were tested because of the obstacles they had to overcome.
The film’s director Derick Cabrido studied the records of Villanueva’s case and found out that she was from the province and went to Manila to look for her father. She was then jailed, and although it was suspected that the possessions started even before that time, it became more haunting when she was already behind bars.
Aside from describing the film “Clarita” as “whiff of fresh air in the horror genre”, Pablo Tariman from Philippine broadsheet The Philippine Star also praised Cabrido’s direction. “Derrick Cabrido made a haunting tale that is several notches higher from what we see in horror films today,” he said in his movie review.
Meantime, this is Jodi’s first foray to this genre, which she admitted really pushed her to her limits, especially since she chose to do all her scenes without a stunt double. “It was not easy, the process in making the film was not easy. But seeing the finished product, we can say it was rewarding,” said Jodi about making the film.
Also part of the film are Ricky Davao, Nonie Buencamino, Romnick Sarmenta, Arron Villaflor, and Alyssa Muhlach.
Overall, according to the movie review by Julia Alende published on the entertainment portal pep.ph, “Clarita” is “proof that Filipino horror can achieve greater heights and can be both grotesque but sophisticated at the same time.”
Can Clarita’s soul still be saved or will evil take over it? Uncover the mystery as “Clarita” screens in the following regions on these dates: starting on July 4 in the Middle East; July 14 in Paris, France; starting July 26 in the U.S.; July 28 in Dublin, Ireland; and August 4 in Oslo, Norway.
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