Returning to the big screen after a nine-year hiatus (previous installment, SRR XV was released in 2014), albeit missing this year’s Metro Manila Film Festival (MMFF), the Shake Rattle and Roll franchise is back with its signature three-episode feature. This time it promises to go “Extreme”.
One of the most remarkable features of the first entries to the franchise, is their ability to deliver genuine horror without so much relying on effects and exaggerated prosthetics; raw and unadulterated horror, the critics used to say. In Extreme‘s case, it is hard to say it exhibits a return to form, but it is also difficult to deny that there is something refreshing to see in this installment.
Like the previous entries, Extreme is a three-part feature helmed by three talented directors: Joey de Guzman for ‘Rage’ episode; Jerrold Tarog for ‘Mukbang’ episode; and Richard Somes for ‘Glitch’ episode. From fiendish, to comic, to action-packed, horror hits a varying level of ‘extreme’ in this much awaited sequel, and you have to understand not everybody will enjoy what it intends to deliver.
GLITCH [Dir. Joey de Guzman].
A mother, brilliantly portrayed by Iza Calzado, is front and center, in ‘Glitch’. A family horror filled with heart at its core, the episode thrives on themes that are relatable with the current audience: family, depression, motherhood, social media misuse, among others.
Originality isn’t the strongest suit of this story, as many other films have already delivered a similar plot. Be that as it may, performances shine in this nevertheless affectionate episode, courtesy of the entire cast, and a final battle sequence that brings heartfelt nostalgia, serves as an unexpected highlight anybody who was a TV addict in the mid-2000s will appreciate.
Of all the three episodes, Glitch has undeniably the most frightening theme, as it showcases the tale of another version of the devil, but heart tames its fiendishness, and allows it develop a sentimental core. Gary the Goat, the wicked villain in this scarefest may not have come across as scary as the film intends it to be, but it was nevertheless effective in unraveling the real monster that the characters needed to confront.
MUKBANG [Dir. Jerrold Tarog].
Mukbang‘s most memorable sequences are those made to soar by the exploding (unexpected) comic energy from its talented ensemble of young actors. Horror and comedy both lurk in the first half of the story, but once the slaughter party begins, it is the latter that truly makes this entertainment-packed episode an epic viewing experience.
A group of social media celebrities is invited by a rising couple influencer (with fewer followers), to do a ‘mukbang’ collaboration. Anybody can right away sense something is wrong with the house, and the way the people residing in it behaves. Once the food vlogger, tasked to be group’s chef (played by Ninong Ry), states his observation about the meat provided by the mysterious Kuya Isko, it becomes clearer that something nefarious is about to start. But once it does, so does the hilarious cat-and-mouse chase in the house.
What is fascinating about this episode is that everybody is given the chance the shine. That said, among those given, it is the unexpected comical tandem of AC Bonifacio and Esnyr Renollo that make the comedy uproariously chaotic and fun. RK Bagatsing and Jane Oineza, work well as a romantic pair with lots of petty issues to quarrel about, and they’re really effective when they are being dramatic actors in scenes, but their characters could have been written more substance to suit their acting prowess.
RAGE [Richard Somes].
A meteor shower brings about the apocalyptic event, that becomes the backdrop of this action-packed horror, starred by this generation’s Darna, Jane de Leon.
People suddenly become enraged with the desire to kill, in ‘Rage’. The culprit is an unknown virus, brought by the meteors in their entry to the Earth’s atmosphere. Infection spread like wildfire, and before a group of camping friends discover, the entire Philippines is already an arena for the new breed of beasts the virus created, and the uninfected they target to corrupt.
De Leon’s best moments are when she was with her shotgun. She comes across indomitable in her scenes where she engages in an explosive ‘kill frenzy’ in an attempt to protect herself and her friends, from the swarming creatures.
Of the three episodes, Rage features the most gory scenes, but like Glitch, the heart-tugging moments steal the spotlight from the gore and make this a heartwarming horror, nonetheless
A fragile moment between Paolo Gumabao and Rob Gomez gives a pinch in the heart, but the real tearjerker is the closing shot that features a blood-drenched Jane de Leon, and a baby.
Shake, Rattle, and Roll: Extreme is now showing in cinemas, nationwide. Watch the official full trailer, below.