The scary secrets of the tarot
Rosalinda L. Orosa (The Philippine Star) - August 17, 2009 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - The future is clear for Jun Lana’s Tarot when it opens on Aug. 26 in theaters nationwide — it will be scarier than Kulam but more entertaining!

His second horror movie and the completion of his three-movie exclusive deal with Regal Entertainment, the filmmaker was more ambitious in helming Tarot. There were more locations in this horror flick and more special effects to give moviegoers a scream-flick they will never forget.

Lana explained, “For me a horror movie should be like a roller coaster ride. It should be enjoyed. It is really pure entertainment. I think horror is cinema at its best and you shouldn’t hold back as a director!”

Going full throttle for Tarot meant for the director and his cast and crew going to farflung places for its principal photography like Mt. Banahaw.

“This was a hard film to do and it is more ambitious than Kulam. In Kulam we only shoot in a house but for Tarot we had to climb mountains just to shoot certain scenes. And there are also a lot of big scenes in Tarot because it covered a number of generations. Even the production requirements were bigger than Kulam,” he described proudly.

For Tarot, Lana specially designed a deck of tarot cards made specifically for the film. This is to ensure that he and his film don’t give the wrong impression to their audience about tarot cards. The film’s original tarot cards though were inspired by different tarot cards the director has seen before.

As to whether Tarot could have a negative effect on fortune tellers or tarot card readers, Lana pointed out, “That won’t happen because we did our research well. I don’t like people saying negative things about tarot cards because of our film. We actually hired a consultant who’s always on the set. He guided us especially when it comes to reading tarot cards. Also, the story is really the story of this one character and her experience with tarot cards so it doesn’t apply to the tarot card readers.”

Starring Marian Rivera and Dennis Trillo, Tarot is about Marian’s character as a person gifted with the ability to see a person’s future with the use of tarot cards. She was warned by her mother not to use her powers but she disobeyed because of love. Her beau, played by Dennis had gone missing and while others thought he was dead, Marian was hopeful. To find out where Dennis was, she used her dead grandmother’s tarot cards. She found Dennis, but the horrors of the tarot cards began.

“I’m very happy working with both Marian and Dennis. Their chemistry on screen is very evident. Maybe because they have worked together in the past, but they delivered more than what I expected. It was a pleasure working with very professional and talented actors,” remarked Lana.

What are his expectations for Tarot?

“My only hope is either we achieve what Kulam reached or even surpass it. Basically when I do a horror film it is for the audience. I want them to be entertained. I actually always think of my nephew if they are watching if they would enjoy the movie. Tarot is in the same vein as Kulam which was scary with a lot of surprises and twists especially in its ending. I’m sure our audience will enjoy the Tarot experience,” replied Lana.

Tarot is based on a script Lana collaborated with Elmer Gatchalian.

Also in the cast are Glaiza de Castro, Roxanne Guinoo, Rich Asuncion, Niña Jose, Ana Quiambao, Alwyn Uytingco, Dante Rivero, Susan Africa, Gloria Diaz and Celia Rodriguez.

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