GOTHIC HORROR IN OFW’S STORY

Film Notes
GOTHIC HORROR IN OFW’S STORY
by Pablo A. Tariman

The endless exodus of Filipino workers in foreign lands has spawned countless stories most of them in the horror category.

 Isabelle Daza as the overseas worker turned vampire with child actor  Raikko Mateo. A natural as a country maiden lured by better paying jobs abroad.

Isabelle Daza as the overseas worker turned vampire with child actor Raikko Mateo. A natural as a country maiden lured by better paying jobs abroad.

The tales of cruelty is endless and the worst part is when they end up being executed for one crime or another like what the likes of Flor Contemplacion and Delia Maga went through.

Sexual violence is common knowledge but the most alarming thing is that even male workers are not safe from sexual predators.

In his latest project, Director Alfonso “Borgy” Torre III made use of another story about an overseas worker who comes home in coffin and voila, she rises from the dead in the middle of solemn prayer during the wake.

To be sure, tales of vampires have long been subject of Filipino films in such output as “Kulay Dugo Ang Gabi” (1964) starring Amalia Fuentes, Mary Walter and Celia Rodriguez; and “Vampira” (1994), starring Maricel Soriano and Christopher de Leon.

In “Resureksyon,” the character played by Daza worked for a Serbian diplomat based in Myanmar and the employer was, alas, no carrier of blue blood but came from vampire lineage disguised as diplomats.

One has no issue about stories that ask its viewers to entertain the incredible. Since this is a horror film, one’s cineaste’s concern is: will the film live up to its genre?

Judging from the volley of itinerant screaming from the audience. the horror film delivers even as the battle scenes between the vampires and the police authorities tended to be tedious towards the end.

There are moments of comic relief from the character of Niño Muhlach as the town executive who keeps asking if he is still alive after being mugged by vampires.

Paulo Avelino as the cop trying to unlock the mystery of the OFW turned vampire.

Paulo Avelino as the cop trying to unlock the mystery of the OFW turned vampire.

One must note that the overseas worker played by Daza was deglamorized enough to look the part. Surprisingly, the beauty looks naturally stunning as the innocent country girl (a single mother?) lured by better paying job abroad.

Even Jasmine Curtis Smith looks every inch a country lass and her vulnerability is touching. She is the one looking after her sister’s son (played by the’ Honesto’ boy, Raikko Mateo).

Midway into the film, one noticed the screenplay was so written not just to horrify but to amuse. The wake becomes the venue in which the priest tells his bereaved parishioner to skip expensive cremation and just donate the money to the church.

The family probably owes a neighbor something and she arrives offering condolences and reminding them that after the 9-day ‘padasal,’ she will come back for her due.

On the whole, this is one more story on OFWs that succeeds as a horror film even as there are more questions than answers as to why she ended up a vampire. The employer is Serbian who did not accept assignment in Romania where — storybooks tell us — the vampire families are dime a dozen.

But as the director succeeds in eliciting screams of horror from the audiences, one might as well give credit where credit is due.

The director knows precisely how to pace the scenes and he is quite knowledgeable where to place the horror trap.

Paulo Avelino as the policeman trying to unlock the mystery of vampires in the neighborhood is at once intimidating and repulsive on the other and dutifully vulnerable in the end

Smith as the helpless country girl shows her mettle as an actress without having to deliver reams of lines.

Paulo Avelino with co-star Jasmine Curtis-Smith. As horror film, "Resureksyon' delivers.

Paulo Avelino with co-star Jasmine Curtis-Smith. As horror film, “Resureksyon’ delivers.

Raikko the child actor is fairly good in most scenes and her mother played by Daza was a good foil torn between being a mother and a blood-sucking creature.

But if you are just in for your share of scary moments inside the theater, “Resureksyon” is the movie to watch during the week. By and large, the movie trailers aired on television don’t do justice to the film.

Torre knows his horror films and it would be nice to see him meg future projects in the non-horror genres.

“Resureksyon” produced by Regal Films is now showing in all theaters.

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