Clarita aka The Exorcism of Clarita is a 2019 Filipino supernatural horror feature film directed by Roderick Cabrido from a screenplay by Cenon Palomares. The Black Sheep production stars Jodi Sta. Maria, Ricky Davao, Alyssa Muhlach and Arron Villaflor.
1953: A group of doctors is killed by supernatural forces linked to a possessed woman named Clarita. The Catholic Church sends Fathers Salvador and Benedicto who are tasked to perform an exorcism.
Meanwhile, a photojournalist investigates the truth about Clarita’s possession and helps the two priests perform the exorcism. Their journey to help Clarita shakes their faith as they face demonic encounters.
Reviews [click links to read more]:
“The camera worked very well with the dim lighting in the dark scenes, no need to strain to see what was going on. There were uniquely choice camera angles to make Clarita’s demonic antics even more scary, even if she was merely a peripheral image. The prosthetics and visual effects were all of top-notch quality for a Filipino horror film.” ABS-CBN News
“I went into The Exorcism of Clarita somewhat hesitant to sit through another movie about priests standing around a possessed person, but as it turns out the film gave me more than I was expecting. When it did bring out the clichés, I was able to just go along with it. I would prefer if the backbend and crab walk weren’t in there, but the movie that happens around those moments was interesting enough to make up for it.” Arrow in the Head
“It begs to have a more personal connection – that it’s a relevant viewing for people who have experienced being spiritually challenged at some point in their lives. The film, however, doesn’t fully earn the commendation, as most of the time, it’s true intention is to terrorize its audience in the most shameless methods.” Cinema Bravo
“Clarita is not just an ordinary exorcism film as it has a lot of creepy elements and unique scare techniques throughout. This is the best Jodi Sta. Maria’s performance ever and quite frankly, she killed this one. Clarita simply brings the chill factor into a new level, and if you love horror movies, well this is definitely the film you don’t want to miss on the big screen.” Lakwatsera Lovers
“The film relies too heavily on flashbacks to give its characters depth and inspire empathy. And the flashbacks appear too far into the film to be effective. Additionally, the inner conflicts of the central characters—crises of faith, guilt over not stopping an act of violence, and mother issues for everyone—have been explored ad nauseum in nearly every other possession movie.” Nightmarish Conjurings
” …Clarita projects the best of Jodi in the title role. Her innocence back in her countryside life and warped by the demons in the big city allowed her to provide a big contrast in her characterization. Her exorcism scenes horrify and through various spirits that haunt her body, you see an actress doing justice to her part. The film’s beautiful ending provides a cathartic contrast to her character’s harrowing life.” PhilStar
“Clarita Villanueva’s infamous possession has been told and retold to the point that the exact details of her case has been obfuscated by so many versions and variations. It isn’t just an exorcism story. It is a window to a foregone era where fact and fiction collide, where affairs of the church and the state are intertwined, and where the borders of morality are skewed by issues much bigger than individuals. Cabrido’s most glaring fault with such a rich material is that he chose to take the route of least resistance.” Rappler
“Thanks to great acting, the film was at least watchable. However, by the end of the day, Clarita is just a better Maledicto and that’s not saying much. Such a shame that the film is a huge misfire when it comes to delivering a great story. Watch the film for the performance, but don’t expect much from its rather goofy horrors and predictable plot.” The Reel Talk PH
“Clarita was really a Filipino version of The Exorcist with a few wrinkles. It had everything you come to expect in a possession movie: possessed girl, freaky contortions of the body, levitation, changed voice, rapidly deteriorating body, a priest or two, and an exorcism. Had it not all been done many times over before in American movies I may have appreciated this movie more.” View and Review
“Jodi Sta. Maria does a good job as the possessed woman, evoking fear and sympathy as needed. And the effects depicting her possession, including her biting her own finger off are well done. But that’s all The Exorcism of Clarita has going for it. We’ve seen this all before. Way too many times and done much better.” Voices from the Balcony
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The Exorcism of Clarita was released by Cinelounge in select US movie houses from July 26th; with a digital release to follow in the Fall.
Cast and characters:
- Jodi Sta. Maria … Clarita
- Ricky Davao … Father Salvador
- Alyssa Muhlach … Emilia Henson
- Abel Napuran … Doctor Navarro
- Arron Villaflor … Father Benedicto