By R Juan de Abril
It’s been a while I have not seen a good Pinoy mainstream movie like “Aurora,” by Lam Laranas and an independent one, “Ang Babaeng Humayo,” by Lav Diaz , a Mindanaoan who comes from Cotabato province.
I definitely did not miss his “Panahon ng Halimaw,’ (Season of the devil), a trailblazing and Pinoy artistry and gift to the creative world.
When I learned of “Kuwaresma,” a horror movie by another excellent director with an independent touch, Erik Matti, I was curious to see it even if horror movies not the top of my list.
When I told a friend I am on my way to see it, she joked, “you a fan of Sharon Cuneta?” I answered, “you know me better than that.” I watch a movie for its director and writer, not for its actors, celebrated or not.
So when the opening credits rolled on screen I thought I recognized a Butuanon’s name, Steve Vesagas on the sound/technical department. I may be wrong but that guy could be a former student of mine when I was asked to tutor a writing class of student writers. It made me more thrilled.
Since I don’t want to spoil the movie I say it’s worth watching for a good and sensible scare—if there is such a thing as that. I dare say it’s a good horror movie at par with any American movies. It may be “gasgas” in story line but its attentiveness is “Pinoy na Pinoy.” I definitely did not regret seeing it.
In the acting department—which every Filipino is fond of for its stars—the ensemble is excellent. John Arcilla (Heneral Luna) is brilliant, so is the young actor who played his son, and Sharon Cuneta, the stereotyped sweet, innocent girl of past decades is effective as a suffering mother who learned to taunt the devil.
The sound, lighting and cinematography well done, giving a complete package of a truly scary atmosphere. “Kuwaresma” may come out as one of this year’s finest harvest.
After the ending credits I stood up and realized i was left alone at the balcony. I went down, thinking what if this dark movie house is like that “horror house” where John and Sharon playing doctors and their abused children dwell. Even invited, no way will I ever stay.
Thumbs up to the director and his creative team.
Artwork courtesy of PeoPlaid