U-Turn : Filipino Movie Review

I was in the mood for a horror flick so I figured, I’d give ABS-CBN’s U-Turn a go. It looked decent enough on the trailer and poster but as it turns out, appearances deceive. Prepare for some spoilers (which I rarely do) because I just can’t hold back this time.

Synopsis: Donna Suarez (Kim Chiu) is a reporter for an online paper that is consumed by sensationalism and hits. Ambitious and driven, she dumps her journalistic principles to get ahead and go viral. She accidentally gets assigned a case that seemed to spark a string of suicides and and she must figure out a way to end the killings.

It’s been a long time since I’ve been this disgusted with a film but my level of abhorrence for this particular movie is at a maximum. I doubt if there was any research involved at all in writing this movie or, like its lead character, the writers just plucked the story out of their butts and ran with it.

It was appalling to see Donna, who claimed to be a trained journalist, submit a report without doing an interview with any authority figure. Sure, she talked with Kevin (JM de Guzman), a former classmate turned policeman, but without waiting for an official report or verifying her information, she just made assumptions and presented them as truth to go viral. She also tampered with the crime scene (multiple times) and stole evidence and angled them in such a destructive way that would hardly pass as journalism.

And what about Kevin? He provided her with CCTV footage just because she was crying? He authorized the release of confidential information without knowing the full details of her “investigation”? He made an arrest of minors no less, just because she said so? And the worst part was that she was allowed to do her damage in the crime scene without being escorted out at the first opportunity.

The film really casts journalists and law enforcement in a bad light. The worst part is that the scenes were presented as a truth. There were no qualifiers that not all journalists, or not all cops are as incompetent as these two.

Spoilers ahead! Aside from butchering these two professions, the movie just did not make sense. The ghosts were on a murder spree because they wanted to get revenge. They were rational enough to give Donna a chance to find their killer. When the actual truth was revealed, they wanted the person responsible for their death to feel guilt everyday because of a mistake that he did not intend to commit.

This was where language should have been modified. On multiple occasions, the script referred to the killer as “taong pumatay sa inyo” (the person who murdered you), but based on the story, it was an accidental death caused by a mistake. The person did not intend to cause harm in any way. Up until the end, he was unaware that he played a role in the death of the victims. So he should have been referred to as “taong nakapatay sa inyo” (the person who caused your death). There is a significant difference there. Murder is premeditated. It should not have been used lightly.

The special effects left a lot to be desired. Unoriginal at best, the ghosts seemed like watered down versions of popular characters from films. And what the heck kind of ending was that? Did the mother and daughter deserve peace after they murdered innocent people? Everything seemed flimsy. If were up to me, I would have killed everybody and that would have been the end of it.

If you are wondering whether this is a review or a rant, its a bit of both. U-Turn was horrifying for the wrong reasons. It ran around with a flimsy plot with no direction like a headless chicken. It tried to add depth and layering by instigating conversations about corruption and media ethics, which it failed to substantiate. In the end, it was a threat not to the audience’s pulse rate but an assault on their intelligence. Horrible. Simply horrible. Sorry Kim and JM, I love you but your movie sucked.

Watch at your own risk. U-Turn was recently added to Netflix’s roster of movies for streaming. You’ve been warned.