Thursday, December 26, 2013

Chikkaness Review: PAGPAG - Terrific Visual Intensity and Style


A group of friends led by Cedric (Daniel Padilla) chanced upon the funeral of Roman (Paulo Avelino) with his wife, Lucy (Shaina Magdayao), in despair that was arranged by the funeraria services of Leni (Kathryn Bernardo), Dencio (Janus Del Prado) and Marcelo (Marvin Yap). After the funeral, Marcelo is seen sweeping the room when Eva (Matet de Leon) suddenly scolds him as it was a bad superstition. All of the unwanted guests violate a superstition including: Hannah (Michelle Vito), who dropped tears on the coffin when she saw Cedric holding Leni's hand; Rico (Dominic Roque), who wiped the coffin with a handkerchief; Justin (CJ Navato), who stole bread from the funeral; Ashley (Miles Ocampo) for looking at her reflection in the mirror; Cedric, by attending the funeral with a wound; Dencio, who stole the money below the coffin and Leni and everyone else who did not do the "Pagpag," an act of dusting off oneself after a funeral to avoid evil spirits following you home. Soon unfortunate killings happened to some of them, leading Cedric and Leni to find a solution to stop this.

I admired Director Frasco Mortiz' creativity in illustrating the concept. The opening scene was already thrilling that just keeps on rising as the movie progresses. The terrific visual intensity and style of the film made this one of the Filipino horror movies that I truly enjoyed watching. The twist was intriguing. The film's individual scenes are very well staged that's at par with the Final Destination franchise. I also love how the musical score was used to elevate the terror that I can't help but scream. The camera techniques were commendable and the editing was done perfectly. The creativity that goes into every killing is something to watch out for.

Daniel Padilla's character as a "rebellious" teenager with a heart suits him very well. His complemented with Kathryn Bernardo's strong-willed but caring character. It cannot be denied that their team-up has the charisma that you can't afford not to be "kilig." They gave sensitive performances that provided the film's emotional pull. The two are just perfect for the lead. Though I think the profile of the lead characters are too old for their age.

Janus del Prado was likeable as he provides a comic relief to the film. Other actors like  Michelle Vito, CJ Navato, Dominic Roque, and Matet de Leon are scarily accurate and did exactly what could have done given the circumstances. Clarence Delgado, Leni's stepbrother Macmac, was so adorable to watch. Shaina Magdayao played Lucy's character almost to perfection. Paulo Avelino delivered a nicely doomed performance - he was scary.

Some memorable lines from the movie:

"Ano bang problema niyong mga babae, baba kayo ng baba sa kotse."
"Proteksyon mo yan habang pinoprotektahan mo ako."

Overall, the film made me kilig, laugh, and creeped out at the same time. 


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Photo courtesy of Star Cinema Facebook page.

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