Horror movies are like the much-required spice to usual and mundane life. We all need a little thrill and occasional, scare to make our life more interesting. However, sometimes we come across movies that promise to thrill us but fall short, and this movie is amongst those movies. I got allured to watching this movie after viewing its teaser. In the teaser, I observed good cinematography and direction, so I decided to go through with the movie. Okay, I don’t regret watching this Philippine movie, but I was not too thrilled either.
Starting with the plot of this film, I didn’t find it to be that impactful. Set in 1995, it revolves around an all-girl catholic school named Sta. Lucia where students are getting murdered and the school is struggling to uphold its name. Ms Pat Consolacion (played by Bea Alonzo), the guidance counsellor of that school, resolves to get to the root of these events. Strangely she chooses to do so by talking to a ghost/ex-student named Erika who had committed suicide. The problem is that I didn’t get convinced by the character of Ms Pat, the protagonist. It is difficult for me to wrap my head around the concept of a guidance counsellor who not only gives guidance to the students, but also to the ghosts of that school- ah, what? Okay, let’s just go with the movie, but when they showed that Ms Pat is not scared of ghosts, it kind off took away from the thrill/tension of sighting a ghost or watching a ghost movie.
The convincing and relatable part of this movie is the crime scenes and criminal intentions. They showed that the ghost in the film possesses a person and makes them commit the crime. So, it is not like ‘The Ring’ or ‘The Grudge’ where people die suspiciously at the hands of the ghost. Further, they used the background or the context of the movie well. They showed the principal of the school, Mother Alice (played by Charo Santos-Concio ) as a strict nun who likes to maintain high decorum. In an attempt to instil discipline in her students, she oversteps her boundaries and ends up bullying Erika who struggles to meet the high- standards/expectations of the school. Not only was she facing trouble in school, but was also stressed at home because of her strained relationship with her mother. In isolation and not being able to cope up with the situation, she commits suicide and, ultimately, becomes a ghost who kill other students for companionship.
I admit I liked the way Mikhail Red directed the movie. However, there were some scenes where it was quite predictable and some, where it was confusing. Like, there were scenes where the camera paused, and the audience was automatically driven to expect something, and no surprise there, things did happen. Furthermore, there was a scene where Ms Pat gets a vision, and the audience gets to know that it was a vision after the scene was over. I get that it was structured that way to surprise or catch the audience off guard, but the transition from the previous scene to the vision scene was confusing, breaking the flow of the movie.
Another thing that I liked about this movie was the acting. All the actors gave a convincing performance, despite an overall unimpactful plot. The background sounds were used in a typical fashion and had a few jumps scares.
The aspect that I struggled with the most was the pace of the movie, which was extremely slow. Things never get exciting or unpredictable. In fact, I lost interest in the middle of the movie. However, I managed to complete the movie. So, if you are like me who likes fast-paced movies, then this may not be a good option. On the other hand, if you are a person who likes details and appreciates the direction of a movie, this movie might be a small treat.
Instead of adding the trailer, I am adding the teaser of this movie that allured me. Here it is:
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