My notes on Liwanag sa Dilim:
1. A lot of Pinoy movie titles are usually famous pop songs that sometimes I wonder if people actually create a concept or screenplay out of them. This movie seems to be a prime example. I can only imagine the writer listening to the radio when Rivermaya’s hit song came on and a lightbulb went off for him to write a story about an aswang terrorizing a small village. I can’t wait for the serendipitous rom-com set in UP based on Sarah Geronimo’s Ikot-Ikot.
2. Jake Vargas played the son of Sunshine Cruz but he kept calling her “Ma’m”. I wasn’t paying too much attention so he might actually have been playing a houseboy.
3. Although this was a fantasy movie, did the characters really have to be complete caricatures? And why was everyone shouting their lines like there was no tomorrow? Terrible acting across the board.
4. Bea Binene had the unfortunate name of Bea Binene but she did look good onscreen. When she opened her mouth though, she gave a whole new meaning to “boses pekpek”.
5. One scene required Vargas to strip down to his boxers before swimming in a batis (actually a waterfall). It made me put down my tub of popcorn and re-examine all my baby fats.
6. Rico Blanco played a local cop and I could only assume that he was given the role for easier licensing agreements.
7. This was the kind of movie where a character would hide behind a rock to avoid the aswang but still loudly say “Please, please sana di niya ako makita!” just in case the audience was so stupid not to notice that he was fearing for his life.
8. Several scenes reminded me so much of Erik Matti’s much superior Aswang Chronicles. And those didn’t have a lot of laughable MMA-style action sequences involving an aswang in a chokehold. Seriously.
(Originally published February 15, 2015.)