Lucky number 13?
Philip Cu-Unjieng (The Philippine Star) - December 24, 2011 - 12:00am

Film review: Shake, Rattle & Roll 13

MANILA, Philippines - The Shake, Rattle & Roll (SRR) franchise picks up steam, and shows there’s still a lot of promise left in the series, with this year’s 13th edition. Brought to us by Regal Entertainment and one of its two entries to this year’s Metro Manila Film Festival (MMFF), SRR 13 has been the most expensive to produce, and both Mother Lily and Roselle Monteverde are proud to say that this financial commitment is evident in the production values, set designs and special effects that were required to make the film a reality. As per time-honored format, three directors have been tapped for the three stories within a film that unfolds. Namely, and in no particular order, they are Richard Somes, Chris Martinez and Jerrold Tarog — and the film works superbly on this level, as each director presents a very unique treatment to horror and suspense.

Tamawo is Somes’ contribution, and from a story about forest creatures that are part-maligno, part-anino, comes themes of family ties, sacrifice and a child’s perception of retribution and justice. Employed as caretaker of a property in the province, Zanjoe Marudo brings Maricar Reyes and his “family” to this rural setting, unaware of the dark forces that are set in motion as he decides to keep what isn’t his. This is horror paying service to a strong emotional message at the heart of the story.

In Rain, Rain Go Away, Eugene Domingo and Jay Manalo are a driven couple, whose business practices and greed, coupled with a natural disaster, turn to tragedy and a fatal example of human folly. Inspired by what happened two years ago in Marikina when Ondoy struck, the images in the episode become even more disturbing and thought provoking, given what happened in Cagayan de Oro City and Iligan City a week ago. Directed by Chris Martinez, this is the cerebral, thinking-man episode that offers a new dimension to the horror genre — with images like drowning in a parked car and elevator, or an apartment’s plumbing gone haywire.

Jerrold Tarog’s Parola is a tale of teenage friendship and angst that descends to one of history repeating itself, with flashes of Carrie and Charmed. Kathryn Bernardo and Louise de los Reyes vie for the affection of Sam Concepcion and unleash the spirits of two mangkukulam from previous centuries — Julia Clarete and Dimples Romana, in delightful, over-the-top portrayals. Filled with special effects, flying figures in harness and numerous gulat moments, this is the more visceral, traditional horror episode; and Tarog, in his second SRR outing, once again proves he’s a true contender in the genre.

It’s the quality and diversity of treatment of different facets of the horror story that makes SRR 13 such a potential crowd-pleaser. Sure they may not be working with Hollywood, or even Korean or Thai budgets, but these homegrown directors and actors show just what they can do in branding these horror stories as uniquely Filipino, and coming up winners.    

CARRIE AND CHARMED CHRIS MARTINEZ CHRIS MARTINEZ AND JERROLD TAROG EUGENE DOMINGO AND JAY MANALO IN RAIN JERROLD TAROG JULIA CLARETE AND DIMPLES ROMANA KATHRYN BERNARDO AND LOUISE MARICAR REYES METRO MANILA FILM FESTIVAL
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