When a drama anthology presents a horror-filled episode for its Halloween special, we really don’t expect much substance in its presentation—we would anticipate the usual ghostly apparitions or unexplained phenomena that has gone run of the mill in the TV fare.
But then we witness on Best of MMK on October 31, its “Mata” episode originally aired in 2018, featuring Kim Chiu as the demonically oppressed Sarah, and we notice how the genre can truly be enriched with multi-layered storytelling, well-executed visual effects, impeccable direction, and upscale production value.
Sarah grew up with unwanted visions of the paranormal, seeing ghastly creatures that have beleaguered and disturbed her as she faced her own real-world family troubles. As she raised her own family with her loving and dedicated husband Michael (Edgar Allan Guzman), Sarah would face worse ordeals and unexplained phenomena.
She would become blind after a serious bout of uveitis, and as she suffered, she would then get premonitions of tragic events that happened in the world. With her accurate foresight, Sarah would get uneasy and shaken, and this would immensely affect her well-being. While her blindness was cured, she would then experience abnormal vaginal bleeding. With the enormity of her ordeals, a friend advised Sarah to consult a priest to get a spiritual insight of all that is happening to her.
Sarah then went Fr. Jose “Jocis” Syquia (Richard Quan), who would inquire about her illnesses and all the phenomena she encountered throughout her life. Father Syquia told her that the unexplained nature of her health situation and visions was a result of diabolical forces that are controlling her.
And true enough, as Father Syquia performed exorcism rituals on her, demonic forces seemed so strong and hostile, and would cling to Sarah’s body on a possessive state. As Father Syquia struggled to cast away the demons that have been oppressing Sarah, he would ask Sarah what would make herself so attractive for demonic possession? Sarah’s deep hatred towards her parents as she grew up was a big factor, yet a deeper, closer relationship with God was something she truly needed to make her confidently face and fight attempts of demonic possession from thereon.
Since leading a more prayerful and intimate interaction with God, Sarah had not experienced those unexplained illnesses or phenomena again, much less allow herself to be oppressed by demons.
While the story gives many facets in the personality of Sarah that would definitely not make the episode a mere one-track, monotonous scream fest, MMK “Mata” makes each side of Sarah’s compounding situation so fluidly interesting and impressively told. Direk Topel Lee infused his brilliance of cinematic horror with each scene, as he puts in the right camera angles, exceptional editing work, visual and sound effects, and of course guiding the cast to give out their horrific best.
Kim Chiu is outstanding to say the least as a lead actress in a horror tale, and she continues to show us the same effectivity and brilliance in the many projects she has made in the genre, including her latest, U-Turn.
In this MMK “Mata” episode, the “Millennial Horror Queen” again stamps her class in giving out a believable portrayal of the demonically possessed Sarah, a single performance that gave her a Best Actress plum.