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Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 19 April 2019

Netflix buys Filipino horror film 'Aurora'

Yam Laranas's horror-thriller starring Anne Curtis has been picked up by the streaming giant

Anne Curtis and Phoebe Villamor in 'Aurora'. Courtesy ABS-CBN.
Anne Curtis and Phoebe Villamor in 'Aurora'. Courtesy ABS-CBN.

Netflix has picked up one of its first films from the Philippines, as the streaming giant confirmed to Variety that it has purchased Yam Laranas's horror-thriller Aurora.

The film, which was released in January, saw Australia-born actress Anne Curtis, who was a child star in the Philippines, being tormented by legions of the undead in this brooding horror that picked up five awards at the Metro Manila Film Festival earlier this year. It was also nominated for outstanding achievement in visual effects at the Filipino Academy of Movie Arts and Sciences Awards.

The titular character is actually a passenger ship, which mysteriously collides into a rocky sea thus threatening an island. A young woman and her sister set out on a mission to survive, by finding the missing dead for a bounty. That is, however, until those dead come looking for shelter.

When The National reviewed the film back in January, we deemed it a stylistic success. "There's some impressive camerawork delivering a bleak, dreary tone and a suitably eerie atmosphere and there are some decent jump-scare moments," wrote film correspondent Chris Newbould. While he lamented the strength of the script, Newbould praised Laranas's technical work and the film's premise.

The move makes sense, considering Netflix's foray into the realm of horror films and series of late – including Christmas hit Bird Box, the extra-creepy The Haunting of Hill House, and the genre-spanning debut Arabic drama Jinn – as well as its commitment to offer local and multi-national content.

Another film starring Curtis, action flick BuyBust by Erik Matti, became the first Filipino feature to be bought by Netflix last year.

Updated: April 3, 2019 12:31 PM

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