T2 is the story of Claire (Maricel Soriano), a woman who is still reeling from the pain of breaking up with her husband of five years, Jeremy (played by Derek Ramsay). The female travel agency owner also happens to be a volunteer for the Save an Orphan Foundation that is tasked to reunite children with their relatives. Because of her marital problems, Claire decides to go to Samar to complete volunteer work for the NGO.
She brings a young boy to Samar but on her way back, the road was blocked so she and her fellow volunteer worker Elias (Erik Fructuoso) is forced to spend the night in an orphanage where she meets Angeli (Mica dela Cruz).
The nuns at the orphanage ask Claire to take along Angeli so she could be reunited with her aunt. Claire never suspects that she is entering the world of engkantos as she and her driver travel to reach Tenement 2 where Angeli's folks live.
Strange, unexplainable occurrences take place and Claire must come to terms with the real identity of Angeli. Can they all return alive to the mortal world?
With a title such as T2 that sounded like a local rip-off of the Terminator franchise or a clunky horror flick in an airport terminal, we saw T2 today expecting to have some moderate scare and maybe a few good laughs at the usual shameless product plugs (i.e. "Manong sa inyo nalang po itong Chunky" via Feng Shui) or the overacting Filipino extras that hound our local flicks especially the horror genre.
What we saw instead was a decently crafted horror movie that did not rely on cheap tricks such as sudden deafening noises and gory scenes to elicit fear. Instead, it showcased a solid story with flawless performances and above average CGI effects, all in all contributing to the production of one of the better Filipino horror films in recent history.
With credible hits such as Feng Shui, Sukob and the Filipino classic Patayin sa Sindak si Barbara under his sleeve, writer/director Chito Rono has once again woven a very Filipino tale that is wistful of scary kwentos from probinsyas all over the country. The screenplay is well attuned to how actual people talk and act giving the film an air of authenticity that is further stregthened by effortless acting by Maricel Soriano, Derek Ramsey, Luz Fernandez and especially Eric Fructuoso.
Among the flock of horror movies that were shown in local cinemas in the last few months, counting in the popular Korean/Japanese horror films and even Hollywood productions that featured Asian film remakes, nth recycling of movies about popular halloween icons and countless "the haunting of" stories, T2 (Tenement 2) ranks well above these films in terms of sheer quality and believability. After all, for a horror movie to really creep us out, we first have to believe that it could happen without so much as suspending our disbelief.
Movie Rating: 3/5