Fred Said

Review Blog


Posted by Fred on November 22, 2012 at 10:45 AM

December 29, 2010

Being a fan of Pinoy horror films, particularly those starring Ms. Kris Aquino (like "Feng Shui" and "Sukob"), of course I was not about to miss "Dalaw." It was just strange how this was the only film which did not receive any nomination from the Metro Manila Film Fest 2010 judges. That did not weaken my resolve to watch this film.


"Dalaw" is the story of Stella (Kris Aquino), a widow of four years whose violent husband died in a car accident while they were quarreling. She is now set to marry her high school sweetheart Anton (Diether Ocampo) with whom she has recently reconnected. From then however, Stella's life becomes a living hell when a mud-coated ghost haunts her dreams. After their wedding, the torment escalates as actual deaths began to occur among the people around her. Stella, with the help of a spooky neighbor with a "third eye" Aling Olga (Ms. Gina Pareno), needs to discover how to stop the malevolent terror from destroying her life.


Kris Aquino just had her signature pained look plastered throughout the whole movie. She has not really progressed in her facial expressions through all these horror films she had. The way she shouts her son's name Paolo and her anguished harsh screams were so over-the-top. A very big problem of the film was that Kris and Diether had absolutely NO chemistry. Their whole relationship as high school sweethearts was not believable at all. Their kissing scenes were very awkward-looking. This made the central premise of the story very shaky indeed. Come to think of it, Kris looked ill at ease with all the other actors as well. But hey, Kris is fun to watch, so there! Haha!


A lot of the scary scenes were derivative. Some of the death scenes have already been done in previous films of the same genre, like the one in the sauna. The supporting character of Gina Pareno was written and executed in a comic horror style. Her Aling Olga looked like Mrs. Ganush of "Drag Me To Hell." She likes quoting classic lines from Filipino movies when she makes her ominous pronouncements, which can be funny, but some of the humor is forced. Her exit was also very poorly written and realized. Among the other supporting actors, only Karylle made any kind of impact.


The movie was shot in very poor light. It seemed like most of the movie happened during the twilight to evening hours, which made a lot of scenes very hard to see. It was very strange that no one seemed to need to turn on the house lights at night! The director Dondon Santos depended heavily on typical horror effects like sudden camera shifts, dreary funereal music and too much darkness to achieve his scares. The final resolution had a corny feel to it because Kris was obviously fighting a solid "ghost". Overall this movie was a disappointment in the list of Kris Aquino horror films.

Categories: Movies

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