Horror movies in the Philippines aren’t scary; they have developed such branding that would really make you think why they are even classified as one. Local horror films are fixated in a certain formula and Pagpag, sadly, didn’t get out of that comfort zone.
The film banked on its teen stars to raise the film from its old fashion attack of a scary movie. Pagpag failed in setting apart from the regular films and paled in comparison to local horror standards set by ‘Feng Shui’, ‘Amorosa’, ‘The Healing’ – and even the early versions of Shake, Rattle and Roll.
The Cast and the Plot
There’s really nothing wrong with casting Leni (Kathryn Bernardo) and Cedric (Daniel Padilla) in one movie, only if they can be realistic with the roles they are portraying. How can a teenager run struggling funeral home?
Perhaps, it’s really difficult for Daniel to play a role other than a rich kid – the movie is but an insult to what he can potentially be.
The entire movie, just like any other in the past, goes into a trail of misfortunes after each of them does something that betrays the superstitions. Clues unfolded right before their eyes as they shrugged off warnings for a bad spirit that is ought to haunt them.
While everyone’s dying in the film, KathNiel act as investigators in order to resolve the problem and find a way to repel the curse. The sloppy part in the movie is really defining what causes these people to die? Why are they cursed when they just committed trivial things at the wake. The inconsistency can be found with one of the scenes that don’t really fit in with the puzzle.
The Missing Angle
While the movie succeeds in entertaining its viewers, most especially with an all-star cast which can easily be relatable to the young viewers, the team behind it forgot about logic as they tend to go against their reasoning from one scene to another.
The take on the supernatural is too shallow that it didn’t elicit much terror to the audience.
The Good Side
The undeniable charm of the Kathniel pair, plus Dominic Roque and once again, Paulo Avelino’s brilliant acting – the cast is definitely the biggest advantage of the movie which could have been better if it’s actually scary.
Interestingly, the movie tackles the ghost in such a way that he waits for the right time to kill his victims; however, it would have been brilliant in so many different levels if the filmmakers find a new dimension to this angle.
Daniel Padilla’s goofy side really helped a lot in the movie while Kathryn’s definitely worthy of distinction with her acting prowess. Shaina Magdayao was effective in portrayal of being scary. With an excellent cast, it all goes to the writing why the film failed to go over the local horror film cliché.
Pagpag: Siyam na Buhay definitely entertained their viewers quite a bit; but its packaging as a horror film is too much for the fact that it isn’t scary at all. With glaring plot flaws which are hard to miss, it’s such a shame for a great cast to be subjected upon. Overall, the movie is direct to the point and easily relatable.
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