Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Chikkaness Review: THE STRANGERS - fresh take on an overused Filipino horror movie theme that delivered explosive twist and turns

Indie film director Lawrence Fajardo takes the helm for this gripping and chilling horror thriller about the Filipino folklore "aswang" and delivered it with an explosive twist. It starts with the family on a road trip to a town called Murcia to celebrate the 18th birthday of twin siblings Max (Enrique Gil) and Pat (Julia Montes). On their journey, their van breaks down in the middle of nowhere and they were rescued by villagers who have been hunting a suspected aswang Dolfo (Enchong Dee). 

Fajardo successfully created an eerie atmosphere to craft an effective thriller of flesh-eating aswangs that turned into killer boars. The plot was actually interesting as it builds up the scene for the horror with meticulous care. The make-up and special effects department should be commended in the film for the seamless transformation of aswangs.

The actors make choices that are simple yet effective. Enchong Dee gave a passing performance (just wondering why his hair was not long...). Enrique Gil was a surprise in the movie. I think he should be given meatier roles in the future as this man can really deliver. Julia Montes will captivate you on the edge, in the dark. JM de Guzman was underutilized but maybe that's because that's the extent his character was designed for yet he proved that there are no small roles, only small actors. And by the way, he was ruggedly handsome here. Janice de Belen stole some scenes with her perfect timing of punchlines (she was the comic relief in the film). Cherry Pie Picache puts in a fantastic performance as a naive mother who's always on the watch out of her children yet they could always find a way to escape. 

"The Strangers" is a fresh take on an overused Filipino horror movie theme that delivered explosive twist and turns.

"The Strangers" is one of the MMFF 2012 entries that's currently showing nationwide. If you haven't seen its relentlessly terrifying trailer, hit the jump.

Photo credit: The Strangers Facebook page

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