My notes on Silong:
1. Do you know how those M. Night Shyamalan movies relied on a twist to make the audience think that they’re watching something clever? This one felt exactly like that. I wouldn’t be surprised if people would compare this to other similar films of late (Gone Girl, Return to Sender) or similar torture porn out of Eli Roth’s ouevre or even the camp classic Boxing Helena. Even with all the red herrings thrown in the first hour of the film, all the twists were just too obvious.
2. I’ve read somewhere about this pop culture trope called Chekhov’s Gun. Basically, if a film shows a gun in the first act, expect it to go off in the last act. In this movie, it was a locked door. If you still couldn’t smell the twist a mile away, then visit an EENT.
3. I found a lot of dialogue completely off. It might have been Rhian Ramos’ kolehiyala language but I was still surprised it wasn’t dubbed correctly. Here are some sample lines:
“Papatayin tayo ng asawa ko kung di mo ako tinulungan.”
“Yun ang nakasabi sa bote.”
Even Piolo Pascual had to comfort a crying Rhian with “Tahan na”. Seriously, does anyone still say this to someone over seven?
4. Speaking of Rhian, her acting was unbearable prior to the said twist. She sounded like someone out of an elocution contest (“Alms, alms! Spare me a piece of bread. I am a child so young, so thin…”) To be fair, she got more comfortable after she turned her psycho bitch mode on. And then she started rapping (!!) some Taylor Swift-like bitter lyrics and I almost walked out of the theater.
5. The biggest mysteries in this movie were: a) actually how did Rhian keep that perpetually curled Vidal Sassoon hair, b) why didn’t the young Piolo have his signature mole, and c) why did the pregnant lady have a pillow on her belly?
6. I liked a lot of the shots used in this movie. It created the needed atmosphere for a pseudo-psychological thriller. At least we know what to expect from the directors given a better script.
7. I was happy to see that even dyosas have their flaws. You could clearly see the stretch marks on Piolo’s butt in that much-hyped shower scene. We live in a just and fair world.
8. Wasn’t this the same house used in the new Peque Gallaga Tiyanak movie? That fountain looked really familiar. But the fountain scene here, though. Ugh.
9. Can someone explain that weird Alamat ng Kape? It didn’t even sound like an alamat at all. Or was that the point of the story? Meh.
10. Seriously, in a huge house with dozens of rooms, would you really hide under a table when somebody shouts “Magtago ka!”? Next time, I suggest the big old vase.
(Originally published September 21, 2015.)