Here’s a breakdown of the movie Deleter (2022). We’ve listed here some interesting things for a much more in-depth review about Mikhail Red’s horror flick.
1.) The building where Lyra works. The company she works for moderates contents for a social media platform. They are the ones responsible for removing harmful posts that are often shocking and gruesome.
2.) “Delete. Ignore. Delete. Ignore” – Lyra (Nadine Lustre) works as a contend moderator. She works a full shift watching social media contents for her to decide which posts stays online and which ones should be deleted. Some contents are innocent, but some are highly shocking and criminal.
Deleter was adopted from the 2018 documentary ‘The Cleaners‘ by Moritz Riesewieck and Hans Block.
3.) Yosi breaks. Lyra takes a picture of her troubled friend Aileen (Louise de los Reyes) but she immediately deletes it. A foreshadowing of how she will later deny her friendship with Aileen and delete an important video content about her death.
4.) “Always base it on context.” – Simon (Jeffrey Hidalgo), the team’s manager, briefs a group of content moderators. He reminds the team about contextual understanding over emotional distraction as their job demands being sharp minded.
5.) “Ako ang dahilan kung bakit ka nakakatulog nang mahimbing sa gabi.” – Lyra when she’s subtly describing the nature of her work to Jace (McCoy De Leon) when they met at a convenience store.
The gloom in Lyra’s restlessness, partnered with her choice to numb her guilts and pain while trying to maintain a functioning life is a homage to Brad Anderson’s psychological thriller film “The Machinist” (2004).
6.) Bilibid Room – a joke workers call their dark and cramped sleeping quarters.
BPO companies in the Philippines are required by law to provide safe and clean sleeping/resting areas for their employees.
7.) “Hindi ka na makakatakas dito” – Lyra sees this writing on a bunk bed. A foreshadowing of her doomed fate, restless and trapped.
Many workers, especially in the BPO industry, who are experiencing depression and anxiety shares the same sentiments of feeling that there’s no other choice for them but to stay.
8.) Work related depression and anxiety. Lyra takes medication without the properly consulting a doctor. Her meds are given to her by her boss, Simon. He makes his employees take these meds to keep them numb from the stresses they get from work.
Such actions are highly prohibited without consulting a doctor and may exacerbate their mental and emotional issues.
9.) Aileen seen as depressed and tired. Unbeknownst to her coworkers except Lyra, she has also been abused by Simon.
10.) Shock. Lyra and Jace witnessed Aileen’s death from jumping off the building they work at.
11.) “Karamihan po sa amin ay customer support” – Acting innocent, Lyra lies to police investigators about Aileen’s troubled life and work related depression. Telling them that she didn’t know much about who Aileen was, she follows Simon’s instructions to hide the true nature of their company’s business and other important details that lead to Aileen’s death.
12.) From smoking cigarettes to vaping. Lyra quits smoking and switches to vapes. While vapes still contain nicotine and other harmful chemicals, it’s usually seen as a cleaner and more “guiltless” alternative to cigarettes. This symbolizes Lyra’s switch of character from someone who knows an incriminating truth to pseudo innocence.
“One death is a tragedy, one million is a statistic.” – Lyra explains to her coworkers her point of view about the horrors she sees on a daily basis in their job. She acts as if she is unbothered with these contents and claims that they’re no longer people in her eyes but just data. This quote is often misattributed to Joseph Stalin, the late dictator of the Soviet Union.
13.) The haunting. Lyra hallucinates on Aileen’s ghostly presence.
14.) Moments before her death, Aileen is seen in CCTV footages where she’s acting strangely in elevators and hallways. Her strange behavior is attributed to her depression and use of medication given to her by Simon.
This is reminiscent to another true incident about the mysterious death of Elisa Lam who was last seen in CCTV’s of elevators and hallways of a hotel. She was acting bizarrely as if talking to someone who wasn’t there. Her body was later found in a water tank at the rooftop of the hotel building.
15.) “Kasalanan mo ito” – The final words of Aileen before jumping to her death as she records the moment with her phone. This scene is reminiscent to Brian Velasco’s death which he live streamed on Facebook. His video has long been deleted by the social media platform. Concerns about mental health and online safety became a big point of conversation and awareness among Filipino netizens.
16.) “Buong buhay ko, parang isang bangungot. Hindi ako magising… Ayoko na.” – Lyra on her chaotic breaking point as the movie ends.
You might also be interested to read our review about the movie Deleter.