5 Filipino Films Inspired By Real Life Events

They say that art imitates life. The following films are a perfect example of this as they are all inspired by real-life events.

Dead Kids (2019)

A thriller film directed by Mikhail Red, Dead Kids is about Mark Santa Maria (Kelvin Miranda) who bands with a group of misfits. They planned and abducted the school bully Chuck Santos (Markus Paterson). It didn’t take long, though, before things went south.

Loosely based on a local kidnapping incident in 2018, a 19-year-old student was kidnapped by fellow students at a bus stop with a friend who later was revealed to be the mastermind. The kidnappers demanded P30 million ransom, but eventually, the mastermind confessed. Police officers were able to retrieve the student in an apartment bound with duct tapes.

Tragic Theater (2015)

Tragic Theater is starred by Andi Eigenmann, who brings life to Annie Francisco, a workaholic engineer who will lead the construction of an IMAX theatre inside the infamous building. She sought help from a priest and group of exorcists to make sure the building is free from unwanted spirits. 

The film follows the premise of an infamous theatre in the Philippines that collapsed while under construction in the early ’80s. It was said that a group of workers (at least 169) were buried alive and left to die. Soon after, quick-drying cement was poured over to them with the intention not to delay the construction. Many paranormal accounts were told over the years, and several spirit questors unsuccessfully tried to drive these spirits away from the building.

Captive (2012)

A French-Filipino film, Captive is directed by Brilliante Mendoza. The film starred Isabelle Huppert as Thérèse Bourgoine and retold the survivors’ lives before they were set free after a year of being held in captivity. In February 2012, this film was screened at the 62nd Berlin International Film Festival.

A true to life story, this film is based on the 2001 hostage crisis in the Southern Philippines that began with twenty hostages seized from Dos Palmas Resort in Palawan by members of Abu Sayyaf, a Muslim rebel group. 

On The Job (2013)

On The Job is a neo-noir action thriller film directed by Erik Matti. It tells the story of two prisoners: Mario (Joel Torre) and Daniel (Gerald Anderson), who are temporarily freed from prison and hired as hitmen. 

Though there are no public accounts for this one, the film's idea was inspired by a Viva Films service driver who was an ex-convict. He shared with Matti his past in prison, where he used to be temporarily released to commit contract killings.

Clarita (2019)

Following the story of Clarita brought to life by Jodi Sta Maria, this film is directed by Roderick Cabrido. This film is a retelling of the infamous possession of Clarita Villanueva that made the headlines in the '50s not only locally but internationally as well. 

Clarita went to the city in hopes of finding her father. To make ends meet, she resorted to prostitution, which didn’t take long as she unknowingly offered her services to a policeman dressed as a civilian. According to the stories, she was possessed mid-hearing.

Were you surprised that these films are based on a true story? Let us know if you've seen any of these films. Share your thoughts with us in the discussion!