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Aside from the traditional gift-giving this season, I did something quite traditional as well: watch MMFF movies!

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Surely the Metro Manila Film Festival entries get suckier and suckier each year (what with Exodus, Resiklo, Mano Po, Anak ng Kumander, Enteng Kabisote and the occasional Lito Lapid films crowding each year’s roster), but let’s not forget the fact that somehow a film or two of noteworthy significance manages to slip through (Yam Laranas’ Sigaw, Kasal, Kasali, Kasalo, and this year’s Banal–direceted by GMA Reporter Cesar Apolinario no less–comes to mind).  Hopefully there are more films like them to come out in the coming years.

Having nothing to do on Christmas day, friends and I decided to watch a flick from one of the entries:

Shake, Rattle and Roll 9.

11189 Being born in the 90s, I have very fond recollections of the first few of the Shake, Rattle and Roll series, most notable of which is the Halimaw sa Banga, which, given today’s context, looked really pathetic and downright miserable.  But it scared the utter wits out of me back then.

Regal is trying to make a fortune out of the supposedly-defunct Shake franchise, but unfortunately, creative-wise, it failed to pull it off.  Sure it hit in the box office but only because it targets a certain genre and therefore a certain market of moviegoers.  Had I had better things to do or had Banal been shown in Christmas Day as well, I wouldn’t have gone to the theaters to queue up in line just to watch this movie.

I think the more appropriate title for this one, as it is with every horror film that fails to capture its audience, is Shake, Rattle and Roll…ing On The Floor Laughing My Ass Off.  More than a screamfest, it was a laugh fest for quite a number of reasons.

Let’s all begin with the story.  As usual, the series is divided into three stories–Shake, Rattle and Roll–each with a different plotline.  The first one, Christmas Tree, looked like a children’s story gone bad.  At first you’d be amazed by the special effects but everything else is laughable–the concept of a Christmas Tree coming to life is more than anything I can handle (laughing, that is).  It looked like it was put up in the old-fashioned pito-pito manner, and it didn’t actually help that veteran actresses Boots Anson Roa and Gina Alajar were among the film’s roster because their lines and acting were laughable like hell.  Sure, John Prats and Lovi Poe made a killing out of their acting but a pathetic plot line didn’t really do justice for their parts.  Even John Lapus with his fake visayan accent didn’t cause quite a stir.

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The second story, Bangungot, managed to salvage whatever remained of the previous story.  Minimal cast with minimal dialogue equals less complication therefore a better story.  I’d have to admit I had reservations with Roxanne Guinoo playing the lead part but surprisingly, she delivered.  Dennis Trillo was at his best but somehow the occasional butt-ins of romantic rhetorics during critical horror scenes tend to become anti-climactic.  There was a bit of a misunderstanding in the end because somehow it attempted to explain the supernatural occurrences of Guinoo’s nightmares but actually opens up a lot more questions than answers.  The twist was definitely surprising but sad to say, the old Filipino drama cliches were in place and actually ruined part of the ending.

The final story, Engkanto, featured a young goth band composed of today’s idolized teen sensations.  Sad to say their youth didn’t make up for their acting.  The Engkanto is an age-old lore in Philippine provinces and it was such a daunting chore having to hear from it again.  The same old plotline was used–barkada/group gets lost in the province, had to stay there for the night, encounters a strangely beautiful lady who turns out to be an Engkanto, then they burn her house down so she’d die.  Aside from the freshness the young actors brought to the set, nothing really new was presented and so it became quite a bore to actually have to stay for the entire time just to see how it ends, then it disappoints.

I’d say Regal’s formula of either resurrecting dead franchises or extending a successful franchise to its wits (Hello, Mano Po) isn’t quite working with the movie buffs but with the normal Pinoy moviegoer, it sure is a hit.  Not much thought and discernment was put into making the story thereby tuning it into a hodgepodge of formulas and teen faces which are sure to disappoint.  If not for the 2nd part which really scared the wits out of me and my friends, I wouldn’t give this one a 6 out of 10.  It’s okay but it needs a lot more work for it to be appreciated more.  I wouldn’t be surprised if SR&R9 wouldn’t bag any awards during this year’s awards night.

*MMFF Logo from http://bitstop.com.ph/images/52/r_MMFF_Logo_for_Export.png *Shake, Rattle and Roll 9 poster and screen grab from clickthecity.com


8 Responses to “Scream Fest”
  1. Laarni says:

    I saw Enteng…. with mama and sister. Mama loves it sooo much. harhar.

  2. Donya Quixote says:

    I may watch Banal soon. Not really sure. Do tell if it’s worth it.

  3. Gian Paolo says:

    I’ve already watched Resiklo. Story-wise? So-so. Effects-wise? Superb for a Pinoy film!

  4. elsie says:

    Sakal, Sakali, Saklolo=Best Picture. Watch it for an afternoon’s worth of laughter and heartwarming drama by Juday and Gina Pareno. ๐Ÿ™‚

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