Sunday, April 12, 2009



The opening sequence is well-executed. The CGI in that part actually amazed me. I think that opening scene is intriguing enough to get you hooked. Next part is boring, usual character introduction with some Maricel-taray moments ("Hindi ako bingi!") hahaha, she made that boy cry. Second part is where most of the gulat scenes are, though not of the typical horror kind. Last part fails somehow because of CGI overload that is not very convincing.

If you are looking for the typical horror movie like those featuring a constipated Kris Aquino being chased by Sadako wannabes then this movie is not for you. It is more of a supernatural flick rather than a horror story. No ghosts here. Given that I would have to say 120M tops for total box office gross. 150 if they get lucky. Knowing how Filipinos want their horror movies, this one would probably not get good word of mouth.

Maricel is superb as always, no question about that. Erik Fructuoso is plain funny. I like his ringtone, hahaha. The girl has potential but borders on OA, bears resemblance to Angelica Panganiban when she was that age. K Brosas is a comedian no matter where you put her: "Happy birthday," unintentionally funny, must be her voice. JLC and a dubbed Carmen Soo also appear.

This movie will probably be received well by those who are interested in the occult. If people would feel cheated after watching this, they could blame Star Cinema. They marketed it as a horror film. While the definition of "horror" in general is debatable (does that include "engkantos"?) I think it is very clear what a "horror film" is here in the Philippines, and people would clearly know what to expect. That is why I was hearing a lot of negative side comments as the movie approached its ending. To quote my mother, "Ay, inuuto na tayo ni Maricel."

The movie is not for the "leave-your-brain-at-the-door" crowd. In fact it is well grounded on the premises of a popular folklore down south. You need to understand it to appreciate it, and not a lot of people would go that far just to appreciate a movie, specially because not a lot of people are interested in folk stories like this one. For the typical moviegoer perhaps they would be intrigued by the first part, have an adrenaline rush on the second part, and leave the theater disappointed by the end of the movie. Even if you are the type who digs occult stories you would realize that the movie has a couple of plot holes that would not go unnoticed.

The CGI in general is okay. You know that the imagery is computer generated but you let it go because it goes well with the other elements on screen. The last part is overloaded with CGI and the bad thing about it is that the characters seem to be floating. But the landscape/building CGI is almost flawless. The creatures that appear in the tenement are not very convincing either. Would have been better if given more time for preparation.

I just kind of pity Maricel. She is awesome as always but it would have been better if she was the one who did Feng Shui and then let Kris do this one and make her take the fall for the unpopular concept, hahaha.

The movie demands a sequel but I would suggest otherwise. Just leave it as it is and give the moviegoers the type of horror flick that they want to see. I think this movie would have been better if done as an independent film. It is that kind of movie that chooses an interested audience, limited appeal to mainstream crowd.

I am giving it four clovers because Roño still made good use of sound to elicit momentary shock from the audience. And also, I am interested in the occult and the movie managed to pique my curiosity regarding this local myth. For the general uninterested viewer, the rating would most probably be lower. Compared to Feng Shui and Sukob, this one would have the least appeal.

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