ULAN (Irene Villamor, 2019)

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I adored the (commendable) bits of magical realism steeped in Pinoy folklore. Sadly, the rest of it was a confused, tropes-filled mess with a very questionable central message.

Rating: ★★☆☆☆

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EERIE (Mikhail Red, 2019)

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As scary as an unflushed toilet.

It was nothing more than a mishmash of every horror movie that you’ve already seen. Except that this one starred The Sacred Riana.

I wish it focused more on the important issues (mental health/depression, death penalty, homosexuality vis a vis Catholicism), but its idea of being smart was naming a character Erica (nicknamed Eri like Eerie, of course!) Sayco (as in Norman Bates).

To be fair, I watched it in a packed theater and the audience lapped up every cheap scare thrown at them. Mga valak twoooooaaaahhhhh!!

Rating: ★★☆☆☆

PET SEMATARY (Dennis Widmyer, Kevin Kolsch, 2019)

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SPOILER ALERT!!

A huge NO on the major change made in this remake. At least they were smart enough to retain that memorable (and incredibly gory) stairs scene from the original film.

As a Stephen King fan, the best moment for me was when the Derry sign was briefly shown onscreen.

If I wanted to watch the supernatural exploit human grief, I’d rather see Kenneth Lim Dagatan’s Ma again.

Rating: ★★☆☆☆

STRANDED (Ice Idanan, 2019)

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SPOILER ALERT!!

Sobrang contrived from start to end. It was the type of movie where characters completely forgot that they existed in the real world just because they were thrown in a (not so) dangerous situation.

Where an employee left a tupperware of macaroni salad (?) in the office fridge over the weekend. Or people tried to put out a fire by blowing on a burning curtain (para cute diba?). Or somebody got promoted in lieu of hazard pay.

Siguro it could have worked better as a short film. Wala rin naman masyadong nangyari. Sayang kasi this was by the same director of that lovely film Sakaling Hindi Makarating.

Arjo Atayde (and his sexy baritone) was so much better than this. Jessy Mendiola played another version of Jessy Mendiola who had never heard of leptospirosis. If anything, maganda yung no hulas make-up niya considering na nawalan sila ng aircon in a completely enclosed building.

Note to local filmmakers: hindi lahat nadadaan sa kanta ni Ebe Dancel. Kbye.

Rating: ★★☆☆☆