There was a great opportunity to tap into a unique genre. However, with so many missteps in the basics, I cannot in good conscience recommend it as a great movie. Sub par and passable at best but its really nothing special . Such a shame.

Its been a big year for Cinemalaya 2019 and this year’s winners reflect not only artistry and talent but also a sign of the times. The Philippines’ most prestigious film festival feted the best of best during last night’s awards ceremonies and crowned John Denver Trending, a film about a young boy who fell victim to bullying because of a viral video as the Best Full Length Feature among the 10 entries. 

Director Theodore Boborol and Firestarters Production really made an impact with ISKA. It involves audiences in an an emotional journey and makes them feel like helpless bystanders as a series of injustice is paraded in front of their eyes. The film was a challenge to the audience, indeed.

All in all, Pandanggo sa Hukay was a spot-on depiction the real evil — people who prey on the weak for personal gain. A system that fails to bring them to justice, just because they have become a normal part of the societal structure. And the fact that what happened to Elena could happen to anyone is a nightmare that one would not wish on one’s worst enemy. Tragic. 

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. 

All in all, JoKoy Comin’ in Hot was an entertaining way to spend an hour of your time. You have to brace yourself for the more brutal jokes but if you’re down with it, you can even learn a lesson or two — Cooking Rice the Asian Way and Fix Your Credit. These life lessons does wonders for your lovelife, says this comedian and he might be on to something.  

I would have to say that Ulan will not be a film for everybody.  Its success or failure is relative to the audience’s taste. One thing is for sure, though. Its an unforgettable film that challenges convention and its one brave movie for going against the norm.