Eerie: Movie Review

eerie posterIf I can share a secret about how to enjoy ABS-CBN Film’s horror offering Eerie, it would be encapsulated in just three words — Don’t Watch It. For all the hype that surrounded this film by tapping award winning indie director Mikhail Red, this film was nothing short of disappointing.

Synopsis: Pat (Bea Alonzo) is the guidance counselor of an exclusive all-girls’ Catholic school. Burdened by the secrets of her students as well as the challenges they face with their school life, Pat also spends her time communicating with the spirit of a dead student who committed suicide in the third floor CR of the school, trying to find out what pushed her to take her own life. But students suddenly begin to die and Pat suspects that the tyrannical rule of the nun Sor Alice (Charo Santos) may have something to do with it. She launches her own investigation get to the bottom of the matter.

On paper, Eerie had a great concept, and upon first glance, it would be easy to deduce the story given the number of movies involving nuns that were produced recently. To its credit, Eerie tries its best to stand out with its flimsy plot and slightly modifies the twist to make it seem original in the end.

Sure, the film is a marvel of cinematography and I will concede that it had its fair share of jump scares in the beginning. But as the movie progressed, Pat’s depressing aura grows more and more tedious since the entire film seemed to revolve around her and her alone, instead of uncovering the mystery behind Eerie’s death.

Instead of uncovering pieces of the puzzle, the film focused on Pat’s personal turmoil as if to justify her obsession with pinning the murders on the school administration.

It seemed at times, that the sole focus of the film was to suppress the final twist until the end to preserve the shock value, so to speak. As a result, the film progressed at a singular pace, a singular tone, locking the actors into a single expression — for Pat, constant dissatisfaction, for Sor Alice, a stern uncompromising bordering on villainy look, for Eerie, a petulant vibe while the rest of the characters were also given specific moods to brood about.

The problem with Eerie was that it was basically a tapestry of every recent horror hit audiences have raved about (The Nun, Mama, The Others). But because the entire premise was “borrowed” from these foreign films, Eerie felt like a watered down wannabe, banking on the technical aspects of the movie to get by.

Because it had only that one card to play, it kept the twist close to its chest for the better part of an hour and 40 minutes, failing to add more substance to the story and just trying to build on the suspense that never really paid off. I did get the feeling that the film was going for The Shining kind of intensity but it never really got there because it was treading on air.

All in all, Eerie felt like a waste of time and good opportunity, to be completely honest. There was a chance to improve up the ante on the Pinoy horror genre given that there was the combination of talent, budget and marketing for it but instead, filmmakers chose to play safe and deliver a sub-par version of an old concept. It was all style and no substance, plain and simple.

Its on Netflix but I definitely won’t advise you to waste your time on it.