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A spirit of a recent dead man hunts down nine persons and tries to kill them after the victims ignored some superstitions during his wake. One of it being that no one should go home directly after visiting a wake so that the spirit of the dead will not follow.Written by
"Pagpag" is the horror movie offering in the 2013 Metro Manila Filmfest. Being the Pinoy horror film fan that I am, even if it is already the second week, I still had to catch this one.
"Pagpag" is the Filipino custom of dropping by another place first before going home after visiting a wake. This was done so that you will not bring the spirit of the dead home.
Leni (Kathryn Bernardo) manages the Heavenly Touch Funeral Parlor which she had inherited from her parents. One day, she was asked by Lucy (Shaina Magdayao) to arrange the wake of her recently-departed husband Roman (Paulo Avelino).
Cedric (Daniel Padilla) is a spoiled rich kid who was out on a drive with his friends, who almost runs Leni down when he lost control of his car. While waiting for the tow truck, they all wait inside the room where Roman's wake was.
Of course, these young people do not make "pagpag" before they went home, so one by one, people begin to die. As the death count reaches seven, Daniel and Leni have to figure out how to stop the curse before it reaches them as the last two souls required to enable to raise a person from the dead back to life.
Admittedly the way this film was told, it reminded me too much of "Feng Shui." At the wake, each one violates some superstition about behavior in a wake (no crying over the coffin, no wiping the coffin, no taking out food from the wake, no looking at mirrors, etc...). Then they would die in a most bizarre manner related to the faux pas they committed.
Since the leads of this film are the leading young teen stars in local show business, the target audience will be teenagers, hence the terror factor is not too high. In fact this film was even quite funny at times. However, it does not mean that it does not deliver the creeps and the jumps. It surely did!
Daniel Padilla and Kathryn Bernardo were charming together, and knew how to play for their fan base with their "kilig" scenes. Matet de Leon (as Ate Eva who knew the secret of Roman and Lucy) and Janus del Prado (as Leni's drunkard Tiyo Dencio) stand out in their supporting roles. Clarence Delgado was very cute as Leni's adopted brother Macmac.
Of course, there were some noted lapses in small details or annoying advertising for Kakao Talk, but these can be ignored. Overall, I thought this was a very well-made horror flick, with above-average (by Philippine standards) special effects when it came to the gruesome death scenes and ghostly apparitions. Director Frasco Mortiz does well to balance the horror and the comedy elements into one entertaining film.
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