Seklusyon offers nothing new as a horror with its familiar twists and turns, but its dark cinematography, subtle dig at religion, and haunting implications provide a lasting impression.

To resist worldly temptations and become a full-fledged priest, four deacons are required to spend their last days of training in a secluded retreat. As a mysterious young girl accompanied by a nun move in, their own demons are not the only ones they have to deal with.

It is often said that the greatest trick the devil ever pulled is convincing the world he doesn’t exist, yet people have come up with imaginative schemes as to what the fallen angel is up to. Seklusyon offers a compelling explanation which reflects how mankind can easily be fooled to believe it.

The plot gradually builds and takes enough time to lay out the story, which is supported by deftly executed visuals. Set design looks detailed enough and practical effects are used effectively. The movie’s sepia tones give it a classic quality that enable it to stay true to its period setting. Dark cinematography sets the mood and reflect its questionable characters. What are these four young men hiding? what is the young girl really up to? and what is the role of the nun?

The veterans did well, but the rest of the cast are easily overshadowed by Rhed Bustamante and Phoebe Walker.

While the movie proves to be a broody thriller, it’s twists are either typical or contrived. The jump scares don’t provide anything new nor are they memorable. The main characters are also too underwritten to care about.

Still, Seklusyon uses its storytelling elements to lay the foundation for a twist that have haunting implications.

Here, evil does not intend to swallow the light nor proclaim dominion over it but hide behind white robes and subtly lead people astray. In society a look at radical organizations, questionable sects and moneymaking cults already prove how the cunning can twist religion (or create their own) and use human weakness to manipulate its believers and further their own agenda. You don’t need a wolf in sheep’s clothing when there’s sheeple.

Seklusyon has familiar twists and turns but effectively delivers its core themes that are deeply ingrained in human nature – the power of hypocrisy and blind benevolence.

My Rating: 7/10