FROM THE CINEMA TO THE WEB

Albie Casiño brings on the scares in ‘The Complex’

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TESSA MAURICIO-ARRIOLA

Fresh from the well-received showing of Regal Entertainment’s millennial horror flick Puwera Usog in March, one of the movie’s main cast members Albie Casiño seems to have caught the mystery-thriller bug as he takes on the central character in The Complex—D5Studio’s newest web series, now ready for viewing on the World Wide Web.

In an interview with the T-Zone just before the Holy Week break, Casiño acknowledged that he enjoys acting in the horror genre, but maintained that it was by pure coincidence the two projects came one after another.

“Nagkataon lang,” said the young heartthrob who added he was also lured into The Complex by the fact that the show opened to him the emerging medium in entertainment via the Internet.

“Everything is going online now,” Casiño noted. “So this is really the way to go. I, myself, have actually developed the habit of watching web series more than TV, like Riverdale on Netflix,” he added, referring to the American production based on the long-running Archie comic book series.


All the same, the daring actor added that shooting a web series is no different from a movie or a TV show.

“You’ve got your long shots and your tight shots, the lights, your co-actors and director,” Casiño continued. “The only difference from a TV series is that the episodes are much shorter—they’re 15- to 20-minuters—so the pacing is faster for the audience, and the end of every episode much more exciting.”

Casiño, who has also appeared in the horror movies Aswang and Shake, Rattle & Roll 14: The Invasion, is cast in The Complex as Alex, a male nurse who moves into an apartment complex and meets Anj, a beautiful but mysterious girl. Alex soon experiences strange incidents and vivid haunting dreams, soon realizing that the hallways, corners and walls of the building conceal a secret begging to be revealed.

Albie Casiño (center) is quickly becoming a horror movie favorite, this time as the lead of ‘The Complex,’ along with (from left) Lou Veloso, Kate Alejandrino, Emmanuelle Vera, and Boo Gabunada

D5Studio—TV5’s digital entertainment arm—tapped award-winning indie filmmaker Prime Cruz (Sleepless, Ang Manananggal Sa Unit 23B) to bring The Complex to life.

At the same interview with Casiño, the director explained, “The Complex is a different type of mystery-thriller, hooked more on mood and ambience and not just on jump scares. I looked into the audience demographics of D5Studio and catered this horror material to them—16 to 25 year old millennials who aren’t entertained just by blood and gore but something edgy. That’s why we came up with a psychological thriller for the web series.”

Casiño seconded his director’s details on the program concept, and said, “The way the story is told is different—it’s not just given to you from scene to scene. You have to think and figure out what just happened and what it may lead to. Scare-wise, I think it’s really more effective this way.”

Casiño is joined in The Complex by veteran character actor Lou Veloso, whose recent performance in Erik Matti’s December 2016 horror Seklusyon was lauded by critics, as Mang Rene, the resident maintenance guy in the apartment building. As for the rest of the actors, D5 Studio held auditions for various key roles.

In casting the dark and cryptic Anj, the director suggested Emmanuelle Vera who was hailed for her performance in the indie romantic comedy-drama, Ang Kwento Nating Dalawa.

Indie actor, Boo Gabunada plays JR, a fellow tenant who moved into the complex two months before Alex. Whether or not Alex stays or leaves will depend on his relationship with JR. Gabunada is known for being part of the memorable ensemble cast of Joel Ferrer’s screwball comedy feature, Baka Siguro Yata.

Finally, there is JR’s longtime girlfriend Pia who is fiercely protective of her man. The role went to Kate Alejandrino who recently delivered memorable performances in acclaimed indie features like Bitukang Manok, Lila and the lesbian drama, Baka Bukas.

The Complex, which went live on D5Studio’s YouTube page [youtube.com/D5Studio] on April 15, comes at the heels of the production’s highly successful web series Forever Sucks, starring Jasmine Curtis-Smith. Another proud D5Studio Original, the team behind the continuous productions is focused on a very specific audience whom they describe as “a new breed of taste makers and influencers.”

The entire first season of The Complex is now live and available for viewing free and on demand on the Internet.

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