The Philippines, 2022, 93’, Filipino
Directed by: Mikhail Red
Screenplay: Nikolas Red and Mikhail Red
Photography (color): Ian Alexander Guevara, LPS
Editing: Nikolas Red
Production Design: Gie Shock Jose
Music: Paul Sigua, Myka Magsaysay-Sigua
Sound Design: Armand De Guzman, Aian Louie Caro, Russel Gabayeron
Producers: Vincent Del Rosario, Veronique Del Rosario-Corpus, Valerie S. Del Rosario
Executive Producer: Vic Del Rosario Jr.
Cast: Nadine Lustre (Lyra), Louise Delos Reyes (Aileen), Jeffrey Hidalgo (Sir Simon), McCoy De Leon (Jace)

Date of First Release in Territory: December 25th, 2022


Filipinos live and die on social media. People like Lyra (Nadine Lustre) are the ones who make platforms such as Facebook and Instagram an almost livable space, this much she tells an IT worker who is puzzled by the shady workings in Lyra’s building floor. “I’m the reason you can sleep soundly at night,” she says. To some extent, it’s true, “content moderators” such as Lyra are the ones who scrub social media of exploitative, sexual, and violent content that would make us insane. But what about them? The people who actually have to sift through these things? “I keep getting dick videos everyday. It’s fucking disgusting,” a co-worker tells Lyra over drinks. Deleter makes us aware of their plight, a horror film in its own right. But when a co-worker snaps and dies by suicide, maybe there’s more to her case than meets the eye. 
Lyra is an interesting character to study. Red allows the mind-numbing dehumanization of their profession to unfurl through Lyra’s face, mostly illuminated by computer screens, becoming our map to the sinister affairs happening inside their office. Maybe the IT guy is right. There really is something going on in their floor. Despite the suicide and suspicious orders from her boss, Lyra proceeds to work, her face now devoid of any recognizable affect, demonstrating how her job has almost turned her into an automaton, and this Lustre pulls of perfectly, a feat considering acting has been honed by years of cheery and dramatic romance comedy (which is to say, a job that constantly requires a rollercoaster of emotions). Lyra thinks of the people in the content as data and even in the sprawl that she overlooks on the rooftop every cigarette break, she thinks of people as tiny dots that should be detached from any form of feeling.
Red recognizably follows the themes of his debut film Rekorder, where he tackled the onslaught of the Big Brother-ization of our daily lives. Deleter showcases what Red does best, a flair for technical prowess to create a high-tension atmosphere, which he’s recently displayed in Arisaka and Eerie (both with excellent actresses in the center as well). The sparse cinematography and pounding sound design recalls great J-Horror films such as Pulse and Ring, with Deleter’s opening scene certainly a nod to Asian horror films of the past. 


Mikhail Red


Mikhail Red, a second-generation director who followed the footsteps of his father Raymond Red, after debuting with Rekorder, released Birdshot, an immaculately shot crime thriller that became the Philippines’ entry to the Academy Awards for 2016 and became the first Filipino film distributed by Netflix internationally. Birdshot contains many of his signature marks (technical proficiency, rigorous storytelling, emotive acting core) that he has displayed in his succeeding films. Red’s social realist core never wavered no matter the genre: from the lowlives under Duterte’s iron fist in Neomanila to the historical retread of Arisaka. 


2013 – Rekorder
2016 – Birdshot
2017 – Neomanila
2018 – Eerie
2019 – Dead Kids
2020 – Block Z
2021 – Arisaka
2022 – Deleter

Don Jaucian
Film director: Mikhail RED
Year: 2022
Running time: 99'
Country: The Philippines
26/04 - 03:00 PM
Teatro Nuovo Giovanni da Udine
26-04-2023 15:00 26-04-2023 16:33Europe/Rome Deleter Far East Film Festival Teatro Nuovo Giovanni da UdineCEC Udine
ONLINE in Italy until the end of the Festival