This movie could have learned a thing or two from Robert Eggers’ The Witch, a supernatural horror film that subtly doubled as a social commentary. This one just wasn’t a fun experience because I expected a delicious aswang flick, but ended up getting repeatedly clobbered on the head by its heavy socio-political themes.
If the blatant metaphors were not enough, it had characters actually spouting lines referencing social inequality and extra-judicial killings (in one scene, Enchong Dee looking like he got possessed by the spirit of Magnolia dela Cruz kept wailing about the innocent poor getting killed, “Bakit silahhhh? May mga pamilyahh silahhhh!!”).
I was really happy with the casting of Sylvia Sanchez (fresh from the role of a doting Alzheimer’s-stricken mother in The Greatest Love) that brought her back to her villain roots. Her menacing turn as the human kilawin-loving helper brought back my childhood fear of her evil bruha in Takbo…Talon…Tili!!
I wish there were more How To Train Your Aswang moments (I really liked the choice of the red hues when they were listening in on the busy metro; oh, and the slug transfer, really cool!) and less of the unintentional humor (one character’s reaction on learning that he was turned into an aswang: “Watdafak!”). Indeed.