Day 2 of our marathon takes us to the sunny Philippines for our next Halloween goodie, the horror film “T2”. No, no, no… not the big budget sci-fi action epic starring Arnold Schwarzenegger…. that’s a whole different movie. Trust me…. This one is a Philippine horror movie about a haunted orphan.
Our Synopsis reads like this: “T2 tells the story of Clair, owner of a travel agency who is shocked when her husband suddenly tells her that he wants a trial separation from their failing marriage. This prompts Clair to take a time off of work and she volunteer at an orphanage. While assigned to take an orphan named Angeli to some living relatives, Clair learns that there is more to this young girl that what seems. Angeli is the daughter of an engkanto and a mortal man. Angeli, a girl caught between two worlds and Clair, a woman fighting to save her from the engkanto world to keep her in the mortal one.”
Mmmmm…. now that sounds promising. Neko does love her Asian ghost stories…. and cute haunted orphans are always good….. so will the Filipinos give me the goose pimples tonight? Let’s all find out….
This one is all about some weird Filipino folklore critters called the “Engkantos”….Naturally… before your Favorite Catgirl gave this one a watch, I sorta had to do some research to find out all about them and I discovered that “Engkantos” and “Engkantadas” are supernatural beings said to be some of the original angels who revolted with Lucifer against the Lord in the Bible. They are described as fair skinned, blond, with either blue or green eyes and can be far shorter or sometimes much taller than the average Filipino. They are usually noted for their beauty, grace and charm which often attracts many people…. sometimes to their misery. When the angels of God first drove them out of Heaven, some of them fell to earth rather than plunging into Hell. Those who fell into the forest or thick woods and who came to live in trees are called the Engkantos… the “Enchanted Ones”. Sounds sorta like the European fairies…. as seen through the ol’ Asian cultural filter. Hmmmm? Okie dokie….
Our movie starts as the heroine Claire (played by Maricel Soriano) is involved with sorting out both her challenging work as a travel agent along with her volunteering as a social worker at an agency for placing orphans needing adoption as well as her failing marriage. She’s stressed out and taken completely by surprise by her husband Jeremy’s (played by Derek Ramsey) sudden decision to ask her for a “Trial Separation”…. especially since he’s got all the paperwork set up as if it’s gonna be a divorce instead. Do’hhhh!!
Poor Claire never saw it coming…. and thought that they were making progress in couples therapy, working through all the problems they have. In a moment of pain and anguish, Claire decides to take the place of another worker and escort a young boy out of Manila to his new home out in the provinces. Anything to get away and not have to face Jeremy and her marriage’s collapse.
Things start getting weird after they deliver the boy and are forced to spend the night at a Convent Orphanage they have some dealings with. While there… Claire is surprised to find the Sisters expect her to accompany an orphan girl back to Manila to be placed with her distant Aunt. It was supposed to be a job the woman Claire replaced knew all about, but which she seems to have neglected to mention. Little Angeli (played by Mika Dela Cruz) is a strange girl alright…. pretty, quiet, and somehow terribly frightened that some unknown person or persons is “coming to take her away just before she reaches her 9th birthday….” Claire thinks it’s all in the poor girl’s head, the result of trauma from losing her father tragically… but she’s sooooo wrong……
With only her driver and little Angeli, Claire starts back to Manila, constantly dodging phone calls from her husband…. and struggling to understand her own problems as she become enmeshed in the eerie events that seem to follow little Angeli everywhere they go. Strange people in white show up… always trying to lead Angeli away in what seems like a somnambulistic trance.
Eventually they reach Manila and the crazy rundown Tenement building that is her Aunt’s home. It’s here that the Engkantos’ have been secretly driving them all along… all part of their plan to seize the girl and force her to join them in their enchanted world as one of their own. It seems that Angeli’s own mother was… in truth, an engkanto herself!! It’s how they breed, you see…. unable to have their own children, they have to mate with humans, and then proceed to convince the child to join them of their own free will on either their 9th or 18th birthdays. Woe be to anyone mortal who gets in their way……
By now, Claire has become very attached to little Angeli… something she’s always fought to avoid with all the other kids she’s helped, and realizing she loves the girl, decides to battle with the immortal creatures to save her. We get some pretty nice digital effects here…. giant pig monsters, enchanted fairy castles, freaky wall crawling demonic assassins….. not bad for a film like this. Will our heroine win? Will she save Angeli and reunite with Jeremy? Well…. Neko’s not going to spoil it for you… but instead tell you you should definitely see it for yourself.
This one is a nice lil’ film. A simple plot… with good basic characters, and some neat folklore that I hadn’t ever heard of before. I give “T2” a nice, respectable 3 “Meows” out of 5 for being a pleasant evenings watch with all the right elements firmly in place. While not the most gory or “extreme” a horror film, it does it’s job of being scary quite well on a well spent budget. That’s certainly enough for this lil’ Catgirl to be a happy kitten! Philippine DVD’s are well produced too… with top notch English subtitles and are not to bad cost wise either…. sometimes the hardest part is just finding them….
Trailer? Yep, despite coming up with a ton of wrong searches, I finally found it! So here it is.