Friday, July 20, 2012

Shake Rattle and Roll 12 – review

Director: Jerrold Tarog (segment)

Release date: 2010

Contains spoilers

Another instalment in the long running Filipino film series Shake Rattle and Roll and, like the others in the series, it is made up of 3 fairly lengthy shorts. The short Mamanyika is about a possessed doll and Isla has a more forkloric basis.

The third segment is called Punerarya and it is the segment we are looking at here, being about Aswang.

The segment starts off with a young teacher, Dianne (Carla Abellana), going to a funeral parlour. She is to be the new tutor for Sarah (Anna Vicente) and Ryan (Nash Aguas), the children of the parlour’s owner Carlo (Sid Lucero). She is shown up to the living area behind the business and is asked to wait for Carlo. She sits for a while but then goes to a window and opens the blackout curtain. Sarah had just come up behind her and screams. Carlo explains that the two children have an inherited weakness to sunlight – hence being home tutored.

the Nanny and Sarah
The children’s nanny shows Dianne around the place – mainly pointing out areas that are restricted to family only. She also suggests that the children have a special diet. Things start to go wrong early on – Dianne takes a photo of the children, with the flash causing them pain and making Sarah attack her. She relays her concerns to her brother, Dennis (Mart Escudero), but his suggestion that she quit is ignored.

Carla Abellana as Dianne
Meanwhile we see that the home has dogs around it, and of course these are aswang. Most of the staff are aswang and they live (it is later revealed) mainly on corpses. That said, those who snoop are likely to become Aswang chow too. Ryan ensures that Dianne stumbles over the aswang feeding on a live victim and spins her a story about being a normal boy whose family died in a fire (aswang cannot stand fire and couldn’t rescue them) who is now forced to live their lifestyle.

A disaffected little aswang
As it was fairly clear that the family were going to have to kill Dianne (and Dennis, who gets drawn in to the situation) it makes you wonder as to why they didn’t do so when Dianne was passed out and put safely on a sofa by the aswang. Was it just so they could torture her by making her drink eyeball soup? That didn’t make a lot of sense. One wonders also why they decided to eat when Dianne was still on the premises or why Dianne trusted Ryan so quickly – he is revealed later to be a disaffected little aswang who was sick of eating the dead (complaining they only got live food on their birthday and had to share).

The loose plot points were a shame as this was otherwise a neat little segment. 4 out of 10 for the section Punerarya only. The imdb page is here.

No comments: