Director Frasco Mortiz marks his debut in the 39th Metro Manila Film Festival (MMFF) this December with Pagpag, Siyam Na Buhay, the only horror film to participate in the highly anticipated annual film fest.
Pagpag is also part of the ongoing 20th anniversary of Star Cinema, which co-produced the film with Regal Films.
Direk Frasco has several top-grossing films to his name, such as The Reunion and 24/7, and is also behind ABS-CBN’s top-rating kiddie gag show, Goin’ Bulilit.
As a first-timer in the MMFF, Direk Frasco admits to being both excited and nervous. “I also feel honored to be given the opportunity by Star Cinema to work with such a wonderful cast and crew,” he says.
Pagpag, topbilled by the hottest loveteam today, Daniel Padilla and Kathryn Bernardo, is inspired by the ancient Filipino tradition that is anchored on the superstitious belief that one should not go directly home after visiting a wake at the risk of bringing home evil spirits.
Says Direk Frasco, “I know of many practices that surrounds deaths and funerals, especially the concept of pagpag. I have always believed that there is nothing really wrong if we follow old traditions and beliefs. There’s no harm in practicing old beliefs especially since I grew up in a family that respects these practices.”
According to Direk Frasco, the film’s subtitle, Siyam Na Buhay, represents 9 prevalent Filipino superstitious beliefs that are associated with deaths and funerals and are observed and practiced to this very day by most Filipinos. It is said that once broken, sinister deaths representing each of the 9 beliefs shall await anyone who violates and disrespects these ancient practices. In the film, terrifying horrors are unleashed as the lead characters explore and violate these beliefs.
Aside from Daniel and Kathryn, also starring in Pagpag are Paulo Avelino, Shaina Magdayao and Clarence Delgado, with the support of Matet De Leon, Dominic Roque, Miles Ocampo, CJ Navato, Michelle Vito, Janus Del Prado, and Marvin Yap.
Pagpag will be shown in cinemas on December 25.