[Content warning: This story contains mentions of suicide and death.]
Imagine this scenario: You’re a content moderator whose job is to filter disturbing and graphic materials before they reach online platforms. You spend hours every day scrolling through explicit content that you’ve eventually become unfazed by it—or at least that’s how you appear in the eyes of others. Everyone thinks you’ve grown apathetic, but in reality, it’s just your way of coping with your dark past.
Everything changes when you see a familiar face on the screen. It is video footage of your colleague who died by suicide and you are tasked to delete it. Not long after, though, you start feeling an eerie presence following you. Your trauma, which you’ve tried so hard to bury all this while, resurfaces.
That’s what seems to be the story of Lyra, the protagonist played by multihyphenate Nadine Lustre, in the upcoming techno-horror film “Deleter.” In the teaser released exclusively by Variety on Sept. 26, Lyra has to deal with the death of her colleague (played by Louise delos Reyes) on top of managing her own issues.
Besides the intriguing plot, we’re also looking forward to Lustre’s acting chops and her personal take on Lyra. The 28-year-old actress has already flipped through several roles throughout her career, and Lyra seems to be the latest in emotionally challenging characters Lustre has taken on.
According to director Mikhail Red, Lyra’s life and personality were based on the anecdotes and experiences of actual content moderators in the country. “Philippines is now the fastest growing hub for this outsourced work, mostly working for international clients in clandestine setups. We interviewed a lot of these deleters—some through online forums and deep web,” Red told Variety.
Red also revealed that the production was scaled to a few locations to foster a “claustrophobic environment focusing on the conflicted lives of the social media censors and deleters, and exploring their psyche and shady line of work.”
The teaser ends with Lyra saying, “Hindi naman po talaga mahirap ’yung trabaho ko eh.” (Our job isn’t really that hard.) But honestly, we’re having a hard time believing that. We’ll see once the film hits the festival circuit at the end of 2022.
Photo from “Deleter” teaser