Fueled by his desperate infatuation with fellow nurse Ellen (Bangs Garcia), Conan (Vhong Navarro) resorts to following that superstition which involves whispering one’s wish to the dead. When things start to go awry he asks for his best friend Oprah’s (Angelica Panganiban) help to fend off the supernatural entity coming after him.
After seeing the first half of this movie, another film comes to mind: Drag Me to Hell, a B-Movie with superb special effects that gives you a genuine scare and one hell of a good time without being deliberately funny. Is it the same case for Bulong? Well, the thing is, the director seemed to have already set his mind that the finished product would not be an implicit horror-comedy. Instead, most of the scenes have been shot with the obvious intention of making you laugh. Star Cinema has marketed this movie as such from the very start, but with the brilliant film making involved helmed by Chito Rono himself, one cannot help but think that this could have been a serious horror flick with the right set of cast; AND still be funny without trying too hard. The result, however, is some sort of hybrid that seems to have lost its sense of self.
Comedy or horror? It looks more like comedy. There are various scenes that give you a jolt, but then it is almost always toned down with an abrupt attempt to be comic. It is an entertaining movie alright, but somehow there is that unfulfilled expectation from the viewer wishing the movie could have been more than that. This movie would not make it to the list of cult classics, but it works well as a stress reliever after a long week of work.
Angelica Panganiban demonstrates how to be a real actress and still manage to improve her craft even with a role that does not carry much weight. Vhong Navarro is 50-50 based on how you like his brand of comedy. The CGI works, but eventually abused in the climax scene that it no longer gives you a scare. The setting is in Bulacan, as evidenced by Joy Viado’s accent, but through the course of the movie the characters find themselves going to Manila and Bohol. Honestly, does Star Cinema have a deal with the Department of Tourism?
The movie does not stay loyal to its premise and strays after some flashbacks where everything is finally revealed. What happens after that is a wild goose chase that easily becomes redundant. This involves Angelica being chased by Koreans; Vhong being chased by a man with a giant Tarsier’s head; and Angelica mud wrestling with zombies (Sorry perverts, Bangs does not join them). Crazy stuff. At least there was this funny bit when they added subtitles straight from a pirated DVD from Quiapo. Other than that you could skip the ending, unless you want to see the bloopers section which are not that funny, unfortunately.