Julia Barretto and Xian Lim Team Up in Brillante Mendoza’s New Horror Film

Actress Julia Barretto immediately said yes to Brillante Mendoza when the multi-award-winning director pitched her a project. She agreed to be part of the film even without knowing the story or seeing the script.

In this project, Barretto is paired with Xian Lim – who plays her husband in the film – for the first time. She also reunites with Marco Gumabao, who in the film plays her former boyfriend.

Julia Barretto (left) co-stars with Xian Lim for the first time in ‘Bahay Na Pula’

“I had no idea what the story was. I had no idea but I said yes immediately,” Barretto explained at the film’s press conference, admitting it was her first time doing a horror movie. And in doing so, the young actress felt she was stepping out of her comfort zone.

“At the end of the day, it was about trusting your manager and trusting you. That’s the most important factor why we did what we were supposed to do. It was about growing, learning, to trust and believe,” she continued.

Titled Bahay Na Pula, the story revolves around newlyweds Jane (Barretto) and Marco (Xian), who travel to Mindoro to sell the ancestral home that Jane inherits from her grandmother. The caretaker shows them around the property, but Jane suddenly feels strange upon reaching the basement. That night, the couple make love when suddenly Jane notices someone seems to be watching them.

Julia Barretto in Brillante Mendoza’s new horror film

The next day, Jane and Marco are informed that the buyer of the property is backing down because the city council is passing a resolution beginning the process of declaring the ancestral home a national historic site.

Jane tries to talk to the town mayor to convince him to veto the council resolution. But to her surprise, her ex-boyfriend Anton (Gumabao), now the mayor’s secretary, confronts her. As they lobby together to overturn the council’s resolution, old flames begin to rekindle. At the same time, evil is about to be born as Jane experiences horrific events inside the ancestral home that cause her belly to grow and accelerate day by day, as if she were pregnant.

Meanwhile, Xian Lim shared that working with Mendoza was so inspiring for Lim.

Marco Gumabao

“He’s the kind of director you listen to when he starts talking. He didn’t beat around the bush. His cinematic style is truly unique and something different. In the process of making it, we learned a lot. Our director made us realize that it was okay to have changes along the way,” he explained.

Bahay Na Pula, airing on Vivamax on February 25, marks Brillante’s return to the horror genre. His last was Sapi, shown nearly a decade ago in 2013, starring Dennis Trillo, Baron Geisler and Meryll Soriano.

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