Pinoy Movie Scare

Manila Bulletin, November 1, 2007 | Go to article overview

Pinoy Movie Scare


Byline: YUGEL LOSORATA

Filipinos are fans of horror movies, coming along from childhoods filled with scary stories as told by the old people or those who untiringly pass down to the next generations legends or allegedly true stories about ghosts, aswangs, and other paranormal beings and occurrences. For some, it is best for Filipino audiences to be scared through local horror movies because these have the Pinoy touch that foreign movies somewhat don't have.

Some critics, however, argue that Filipino movie-making is not that always effective in terms of producing the scary factor that results to screams among the viewers. Many are already impatient to see the reverse that when they realize it's a horror movie directed, produced, and starred by Filipinos, they rather not bother to watch, insisting it might probably be just another cheap adaptation of a foreign movie.

Still, even with the criticism that Pinoys can't come out with enough truly horrifying projects, the Philippine moviedom is credited to have releaseda number of horror films that really knocked local critics and regular watchers out. General reaction is that these few good movies contain exceptional plots and memorable scenes that come back to haunt the mind for years.

Who would forget 'ang anak ni Janice'? Or the aswang infested barrio visited in an episode of "Shake, Rattle, And Roll 2"? Or more recently, the appearances of unrest, jinxed souls and the frightening Lotus Feet of "Feng Shui"? These are characters and settings thatgave local viewers probably the scare of their lives.

Yes, there's a lot of work to be done for Filipino horror stuff to be really noticed abroad, just like how those done by Japanese, Koreans, and Thais are. But the fact there are Pinoy movies with worth the scare is good indication a barrage of real scary movies Filipino-made and styled might be on the way.

In random order, here are some of the scariest Filipino movies of all time loosely based on how they are generally remembered, critiqued and accepted by the moviegoing theater public.

1. Shake Rattle and Roll 1 - With the 9th installment of this film series to be shown at the end of the year, none of the sequels have arguably surpassed the fright brought by this original. The three episodes "Baso", "Pridyider" and "Manananggal" have achieved quite a goodreputationas to quality presentation, with the killer refrigerator plot chillingly original and the remote, rural setting of the last episode capturing the essence of the alleged presence of "half-sliced flying monster' in some Philippine provincial sites. However, the movie's first sequel, released in 1990, provides the "Aswang" episode that may be the series' best so far, with actress Manilyn Reynes convincingly portraying the role of the unsuspecting girl trapped in a sitio populated by aswangs 2. Tiyanak - This 1988 movie by Regal Films stars Janice de Belen and Lotlot De Leon. …

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