Whether touching on folklore or tapping into deep-seated and primal fears, many Pinoy horror movies not only make you go “Aaarggghh!!!” but also “Huh?”
In time for Halloween tomorrow, here are five homegrown horror flicks with the strangest twists, like, ever!
1. ‘Patayin Sa Sindak Si Barbara (1974 and 1995)’
This classic piece could have viewers afraid of their own shadow.
Celso Ad Castillo’s original movie really blend well the ghostly apparitions, haunted objects, and paranormal powers. But Chito S. Roño also gives justice to his hit remake released two decades later.
The story is about loving older sister Barbara who gave up her love for Nick in favor of her little sister Ruth who threatened to kill herself if she does not marry him. The latter got what she wanted – but not everything went her way.
Her descent started when she dabbled in witchcraft and spiritual medium sessions. Through this, she learned that even after death she can return to the world of the living on limited time to haunt and exact revenge on anyone she wants.
Ruth then possessed a doll and provided some nightmare-inducing images of the head-turning, blood-soaked doll variety which makes affairs even scarier and more eerie.
2. ‘Feng Shui’ (2004)
Chito makes moviegoers’ blood runs cold with creepy character Lotus Feet.
Starring Kris Aquino, there are strange deaths centered on a cursed Bagua mirror. A person gets killed if they stare into it, but the twist is that their deaths are related to Chinese zodiac. Kris’ character hears the unnerving click-clack of Lotus Feet’s bound feet and she sees all the victims of the bagua.
“Feng Shui” was the highest grossing film of 2004 in the Philippines. A sequel was made a decade later and that one made it as official entry to the Metro Manila Film Festival (MMFF).
3. ‘Shake, Rattle & Roll’ the series
The horror anthology film series, which dates to 1984, have numerous notable episodes that make audiences’ hearts miss a beat. There are memorable movie monsters or creatures that make for nightmares (that give way to giggles in the light of day).
The first-ever movie in 1984 was so huge. The “Manananggal” episode is steeped in local folklore, while “Pridyider” has (are you ready for this?) a haunted refrigerator that devours its victims.
The most-loved series has Herbert Bautista battling aswang on Good Friday. To this day, that episode is so effective. Boo!
4. ‘The Healing’ (2012)
This movie grossed 74 million pesos on its first two weeks and it eventually earned 104.6 million. In 2012, year of release, it was acknowledged as only the third Filipino film then to gross over 100 million.
The Cinema Evaluation Board of the Philippines gave it “Graded A.”
Star Cinema released two versions of the film – one is the censored, wider release, which is rated R-13; the other is the director’s cut, limited release, rated R-18.
The story is about faith healer’s power causing paranormal events and a rash of suicides and murders.
5. ‘Seklusyon’ (2016)
The story is set in 1947, where those aspiring to be priests are sent to a remote convent to live in seclusion to shield them from the world’s evil. Their solitude is interrupted when a girl arrives, and they debate whether she was sent by God or by the devil.
The movie won numerous awards in that year’s MMFF. Some of these plums were Best Cinematography, Best Screenplay, Best Sound Design, and Best Production Design for the film.
Erik Matti won the Best Director; Phoebe Walker as Best Supporting Actress; Special Jury Prize for Rhed Bustamante; and Best Original Theme Song for “Dominus Miserere” by Francis De Veyra.