I was immediately intrigued from the first time I saw the artfully crafted poster of Amorosa: The Revenge, a joint offering of Skylight Films and Star Cinema, the same team that came out with the visually stunning snoozefest Corazon: Ang Unang Aswang. I had high hopes however, for Amorosa mainly because the cast looked promising and the artwork looked ominous. So with only a hunch of what the story was going to be about, I walked into the cinema and hoped for the best.
The film is about a struggling mother Amorosa aka Rosa (Angel Aquino) of two boys. One of her sons Amiel (Martin del Rosario, The Healing) is diagnosed with an eye disorder brought on by a gene that she carries, which has doomed him to eventual blindness. This has caused Amorosa to feel guilt over his son’s condition to such extent that she refuses to leave him in a home for the blind even when he chooses to stay there. Her other son Rommel (Enrique Gil) is the dutiful second son whom she has always leaned on for support. However, a tragic accident leaves Amorosa and Rommel’s relationship in taters, and to put an end to their estrangement, she decides that their family should move to an inn in Tagaytay, to have a fresh start. When they get there, they learn that a spate of murders is rampant among men involved in the abuse of women. It is believed that a vengeful spirit (Empress) is the one behind the mysterious deaths and Rommel is in danger of being her next victim if his mother fails to save him.
I should say that the poster gave quite a different impression about the story. I thought that Empress was going to be the younger version of Amorosa, who becomes a woman out for blood for abuses she suffered in her teens. Turns out, the psycho slasher/woman scorned angle never materialized. The ghost (Empress) was not related to Rosa at all. It just so happened that her spirit was trapped in the inn and she just got her kicks killing rapist killers in the area (There happened to be a lot, and a ghost with a beef to settle against such criminals seemed not to deter the rise in abuses in the area. Go figure). Anyhow, I thought that consistent with Corazon, there was great cinematography for this flick.
Story wise, the first twist was not very original but credit to the filmmakers for trying a different approach. I was however, confused as to why the ghost was deliberately targetting Rommel when it was clear that he was innocent. That one was kind of unclear. There were also several loopholes in the storytelling such as what was so special about Amorosa for the ghost to take a particular attention to her and her family, and why was the police chief’s reaction to Amorosa and her son’s involvement to the case so manic.
Anyway, all in all, Amorosa was not a bad horror movie. Credit to the main cast for exceeding expectations, especially young up and comers Martin del Rosario, who played Kim Chiu’s brother in The Healing for yet another strong performance — same with Enrique Gil, who showed quite a range in his acting for this particular movie that was nonexistent throughout the run of the series Budoy, where he was a regular.
Its main failing, was however, in overcomplicating the story and not properly deciding what it wanted to happen — getting the audiences scared out of their wits of wondering and thinking about the story? In the end, a huge question mark remains as to how the execution fared against the objective, and the answer is murky. In wanting to be different, it took a gamble, I’m just not sure whether or not it paid off. So, I’m still on the fence about this one, truth be told.