Pagpag (Siyam Na Buhay)

PagpagIt’s been a long time since I last watched a good Pinoy horror film and after watching Pagpag, I guess it will still take a while before I will finally be able to watch one again.

Pagpag is a Filipino superstitious belief that means shaking off whatever or whoever went along with someone who has just visited the dead. This is done by going somewhere first before going home. The movie tried to show the implications of not following this belief, along with other unwritten rules regarding visiting the dead. Unfortunately, the topic could have been used well to make up a good story line.The movie writers seemed to have wasted it by just enumerating the superstitions and showing gruesome ways of dying for the affected characters as a consequence. Ultimately, it turned out that the deaths in the movie is not merely about not following the superstitious beliefs. It is more like making a pact with the devil to resurrect the dead. Hence, the title of the movie is a bit misleading.

Majority of the cast could have been given more push to be really in the zone of each scene. The teenage characters reflect specific stereotypes in the teenage world and this is actually good so the audience could somehow relate. It’s a plus that they are shown doing the usual activities of the youth of today  (browsing the internet, socializing via social networks, doing a selfie, etc.) because then it becomes more realistic. Sometimes, though, few of the actors might have been instructed to bank on the kilig and harutan scenes in spite of the supposed horrifying situations they are in. Are you still going to flirt in the middle of a life and death (by a ghost) situation? Definitely not. But they did here in this movie.

The movie is a horror comedy. Most of the time, it did deliver well during the funny scenes. Janus del Prado is as good as always. He is one of the only three actors who are really into their characters. The other two are Paulo Avelino and Shaina Magdayao.

I am surprised to find out that still, many people are present in the movie houses to watch the Metro Manila Film Festival movies. But what surprised me more is the presence of hardcore Kathniel fans (supporters of Kathryn Bernardo-Daniel Padilla love team). They are almost always heard shouting or jeering every time their idols are both present onscreen.

The movie did feature some shocking horror scenes. However, I have seen better ones that had a more profound effect to the audience (i,e, Feng Shui, Sukob, The Healing). The eerie atmosphere is felt, though inconsistently.

Lastly, I wish that next time, these types of story get in the hands of great writers who could come up with more exciting and more realistic story lines. Nevertheless, the movie’s able to scare (a bit) and amuse the audience all throughout.

Pagpag‘s movie rating by the pondering movie fan: 2 out of 5