To call Brillante Mendoza a prolific filmmaker would be something of an understatement. In the past eight years the Filipino director has directed eleven films, all successes on the festival circuit—he’s something of a Cannes favorite at this point—and as his latest film, “Sapi,” the director’s first straight-up horror movie, premieres at the Toronto International Film Festival tonight, we’re debuting the film’s first poster.
Described as a “media satire,” Mendoza’s new film marks his first foray into the horror genre as it follows two competing television news teams as they chase a variety of leads, gradually zeroing in on an impending and possibly apocalyptic storm, and a middle-aged teacher who may or may not be possessed by a demon. Sounds good to us. While many weren’t exactly thrilled with Mendoza’s “Kinatay” in Cannes of 2009—there were plenty of walkouts that year—the jury that year, which included Isabelle Huppert, Asia Argento and James Gray (plus an endorsement from Jane Campion and Quentin Tarantino), still awarded the film with the Best Director prize, so that’s sayin’ something. Many, including us, were much more on board with last year’s Isabelle Huppert-starring “Captive.”
“Sapi” has its world premiere tonight at the Scotiabank theater. Check out the full poster below along with the previously released teaser trailer, which suggests that Mendoza has tweaked his trademark naturalism to uncanny dimensions, with everyday things like a door slowly opening or lightning shooting across the sky taking on eerie, otherworldly dimensions (plus the possession stuff looks really creepy, too—take that, glut of found footage junk!). Color us intrigued and potentially terrified.