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Banal

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FILM INFO

When a group of friends makes the trek to a sacred mountain on their summer break, sinister forces await. This movie is directed by Peter Abanna under APT Entertainment.

CASTS: Bianca Umali, Miguel TanFelix, Andrea Brillantes, Taki Saito, Kim Last, Glydel Mercado, Lou Veloso, Lui Manansala & Crispin Pineda.

GENRE: Mystery, Thriller

WHAT I LIKE?

Banal is actually an underrated Pinoy Mystery Movie worthy of recognition. Actually. this is the best Pinoy Mystery Thriller of all time for me. First thing, it is really brave to venture the Blaire-with project & The Ritual Genre considering that it became a hit in Hollywood. I really admired having a locally-produced masterpiece of the same genre. The plot is actually solid. It depicted a sacred mountain in North Luzon plus it is inspired by true events. Well the true events part is the forest fire incident, The film was able to take on with that incident very well. It started off with a College Life thing wherein group of friends planned a hiking adventure on this sacred mountain. I really how everything unfolds slowly from warnings, terrifying and disturbing sequences and a good twist. Aside from a roller-coaster ride towards an exciting climax, the film’s strength is attributed mainly because of its Cinematography. Finally, a well-done Filipino Film shot in the mountains with superb lighting, great choice of forest setting, disturbing sequences and some good acting as well. Choice of characters are good. Bianca Umali was a deserving lead actress. She was impressive and mesmerizing to watch on screen. Migueltan Felix was also a good support. Their chemistry together is also good. Overall, the whole material is solid and brilliantly executed. I am really impressed.

WHAT I DON’T LIKE?

Lowering standards and not comparing it with Hollywood is actually the best thing to do when watching Banal.

RATINGS:

10/10 Popcorn

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Rattlesnake

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FILM INFO

When a single mother accepts the help of a mysterious woman after her daughter is bitten by a rattlesnake, she finds herself making an unthinkable deal with the devil to repay the stranger. This movie is directed by Zak Hilditch under Netflix.

CAST: Carmen Ejogo, Theo Rossi, Emma Greenwell, Apollonia Pratt, Debriana Mansini, Bruce Davis, Rio Alexander, Spencer Mabrey, Josh Kemble, Alexadra Nelle & Sean Dillingham.

GENRE: Mystery, Thriller

WHAT I LIKE?

Rattlesnake begins with a heartwarming family film about a single parent and her adorable daughter trying to adjust a new life together. When Clara was bit by a rattlesnake, her mother encountered a mysterious lady who helped her regained her daughter’s life. The most exciting and thrilling part was when Katrina found out how to repay this act from a stranger. What I like about Rattlesnake is how they turned a simple premise and accident into a whirlwind of emotions and conscience that has really placed Katrina in her toughest challenge yet. It was actually a fun and short ride. Katrina was faced with consequences and life-changing decisions that will truly test her love & character. I loved how the deal played along with all the emotions and connections surrounding the film. Indeed, we can do everything for the persons we loved. The race against time is really thrilling until a climax that will leave you at the edge of your seats. The characters were impressive. Carmen was such an effective mother desperately asking for help for her daughter. I can almost feel her struggle and frustration. She was really effective on her portrayal. Rattlesnake is a movie with modest thrills, action sequences and disturbing scenes that is enjoyable with a round of popcorn.

WHAT I DON’T LIKE?

I felt that the movie lack enough intensity to magnify the ordeal of the Katrina in quest of solving the mystery. I wish it could have been a little longer especially on the part where Katrina is trying to figure out the situation. Nevertheless, they had in modest amount.

RATINGS:

7/10 Popcorn

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Eli

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FILM INFO

A boy receiving treatment for his auto-immune disorder discovers that the house he’s living in isn’t as safe as he thought. This is directed by Ciaran Foy under Netflix Paramount Pictures.

CAST: Charlie Shotwell, Kelly Reilly, Max Martini, Lili Taylor, Sadie Sink, Deneen Tyler, Katia Gomez & Austin Foxx.

GENRE: Horror, Mystery

WHAT I LIKE?

Eli is actually one of those good popcorn horror flicks on Netflix. Eli benefits on a familiar story-line and mystery that is bound to be predictable at first but when the twist unravels, the movie will bring in shivers into your spine. I actually enjoyed the whole film. It started with a direct approach on the condition of Eli and him being treated in a asylum-ish house of Dr. Horn. At first, the movie will give you some solid jump-out scares and disturbing moments that is building towards a climax you never saw coming. The movie is a silent horror to be specific. What I like about Eli is how it invested on emotions between the characters. It is a family movie also. The mystery lies solely on Eli’s condition and the happenings around him. Be ready for twist, turns and doubts. The movie will glue your interest on various scenarios and will keep you wondering until the twist is revealed. The hospital slash house of Dr. Horn is creepy as hell and is really an added factor in the whole dark premise of the film. Acting wise, Eli played by Charlie Shotwell did an impressive performance. He was the strength of the whole movie actually. Supporting characters were also good. I really like how everything was presented from an emotional film to a chilling masterpiece that will leave you a little bit disturbed after watching.

WHAT I DON’T LIKE?

Eli could have utilized a little bit more of its terrifying moments and spine-chilling scenes and I think the whole running time is a bit short.

RATINGS:

8/10 Popcorn

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Creep

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FILM INFO

A young videographer answers an online ad for a one-day job in a remote town to record the last messages of a dying man. When he notices the man’s odd behavior, he starts to question his intentions. CREEP is directed by Patrick Brice under Blumhouse Productions.

CAST: Patrick Brice & Mark Duplas

GENRE: Thriller

WHAT I LIKE?

Creep may be one of those found-footage inspired flick but this movie will surely be one of those memorable & disturbing thrillers Hollywood has ever produced. From the title itself, you will surely feel creepiness to a whole new level throughout the movie. The plot is simple. A certain man hired a videographer to film him for a day. At the first part of the film, there were hints of how creepy as hell the character is and your mind will wonder many times if what will happen next and what is the real motive. There were some pretty creepy scenes especially the character of “Mark”. Mark was a bit unpredictable & suspicious on the first part. The fun starts when the twist is unfolding slowly into our eyes. It was honestly disturbing & terrifying. What I like about Creep is that it gave a new face of fear. I know that Mark is just human but the building up of tension if what will happen next will surely give you that unease & uncomfortable feeling. On that aspect, the movie was effective. Not spoiling the twist, Creep is truly a thriller masterpiece that will gave some of Hollywood thrillers out there a run for their money.

WHAT I DON’T LIKE?

It may take a while before the actual fun begins, but the building of tension is worth it as it paved way to that terrifying climax that will leave you with a lingering fear even after the end credits.

RATINGS:

10/10 POPCORN

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Beach Rats

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PICTURE SOURCE

FILM INFO

A Brooklyn teenager spends his days experimenting with drugs and looking online for older men to meet with. Beach Rats is directed by Eliza Hittman under Cinereach, Animal Kingdom & Secret Engine.

CAST: Harris Dickinson, Madeline Weinstein, Kate Hodge, Neal Huff, Douglas Davis, Erik Potempa & J. Stephen Brantley.

GENRE: Drama

WHAT I LIKE?

Beach Rats gave Call Me by Your Name a run for its money. Comparing the two masterpieces, Beach Rats gave a darker and more realistic approach towards discovering one’s sexuality. Set in chaotic rural area where there is sex, drugs, poverty & violence, Beach Rats thrive effectively as a coming-of-age film that focuses on the main character’s journey towards curiosity as well battling with unsettled emotions and family issues on the side. With the combination of these kinds of emotions, the spark of curiosity has foster. As the character struggles in his sexuality and his unique attraction to older men through a gay site, he is also trying to balance his other elements as rebellious teenager trying to survive a very difficult environment. I can see so many emotions in the film. The setting of the plot was brilliantly-executed and for me it really realistic and relatable as a whole. The journey in discovering one’s sexuality is never too easy and sure to begin with. What I like about Beach Rats is it didn’t give a too-good-to-be-true ending nor it gave a definite conclusion to the character’s problems & conflicts. It left us hanging. Just like the main character, we are unsure. Journeys like this will always be unsure. That’s the beauty of it. Beach Rats was able to justify its premise well by being not too conventional in the last part. Harris Dickenson deserves an award for his effective portrayal in the film.

WHAT I DON’T LIKE?

Due to its theme, Beach Rats contains scenes not suitable for younger audiences. Viewer discretion is advised.

RATINGS:

10/10 POPCORN.

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Gerald’s Game

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PICTURE SOURCE

FILM INFO

While trying to spice up their marriage in their remote lake house, Jessie must fight to survive when her husband dies unexpectedly, leaving her handcuffed to their bed frame. Gerald’s Game is directed by Mike Flanagan under Netflix & Intrepid Pictures.

CAST: Kate Siegel, Bruce Greenwood, Henry Thomas, Carel Struyken, Chiara Aurelia, Carla Gugino & Bryce Harper.

GENRE: Thriller

WHAT I LIKE?

Gerald’s Game is a unique cinematic masterpiece that is quite a rare gem in the semi-Psycho-sexual Thriller. What I like about the film is its foundation of a two couple trying to fix their marriage and hoping that this vacation could somehow save it. Without giving any clues and background in the beginning, it gave a hint that they wanted to try some wild stuff during their encounter. What happens next is the film’s major turning point. It was so brilliant to revolve the progress of the story from the scenario that the wife was locked on the bed beside his husband’s dead body after suffering a cardiac arrest prior doing the thing. That moment alone is truly unique to begin with. What I even more like is how the Director played with many elements such as the inclusion of a stray dog, the remoteness of the place, the inclusion of a ghostly figure “Moonlight Man” and some pretty cool hallucinations that were so vital in letting the back story and some conflicts sink in the whole plot. The flashbacks were utilized properly and there were some pretty disturbing stuff revealed along the way. The Ghostly Figure is also important in the story as it gave another feel of fear, death and loneliness as the wife struggles to survive. With the battle of imaginations, suppressed emotions, unresolved problems, failed marriage and some unsettled issues, Gerald’s Game is a thriller that will give you fear not only the fact that you are locked up in a remote area along with a dead body, but the scary realization that you could also be stuck in your past and the horrible experiences you have encountered before. Gerald’s Game is not your ordinary thriller masterpiece.

WHAT I DON’T LIKE?

Gerald’s Game may not please all audiences who can’t stand too many conversations. But if you look into the darker side of the film, it might actually stir your interest.

RATINGS:

8/10 POPCORN

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Hush

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PICTURE SOURCE

FILM INFO

A deaf writer who retreated into the woods to live a solitary life must fight for her life in silence when a masked killer appears at her window. Hush is directed by Mike Flanagan under Netflix, Intrepid Pictures & Blumhouse Productions.

CAST: Kate Siegel, John Gallagher Jr., Michael Trucco, Samantha Sloyan & Emma Graves.

GENRE: Thriller

WHAT I LIKE?

Hush is another Netflix Masterpiece in the Thriller Genre that is worthy of all the hype and attention the viewers are getting. For me, it is one of the best Thrillers in Hollywood so far. What make Hush unique is its characters and the conflict they are dealing with. The main character is deaf leaving in a remote area in the woods and she is faced with a Killer who wants to get into her house. Now, that’s a pretty terrifying plot to begin with. What follows next is a series of heart-pounding & intense nail-bite suspense as the main character battles for survival. The concept of her being deaf and dealing with a stronger force is much scarier. The tension build-up was pretty effective and it was so stressful to deal with as viewer. Hush is an underrated flick that is even far way better than other mainstream thrillers shown lately. Its seclusion and the remote location added up to a realistic feel of fear & suspense considering that she can’t hear anything or even utter a word. As a viewer, I felt helpless for the character. The climax was such a terrifying roller coaster of thrills and game of survival. Hush offered a decent amount of scares that will linger until the end credits.

WHAT I DON’T LIKE?

Are you kidding me? Hush is such a satisfying thriller masterpiece from all angles. For me, its the most underrated Hollywood Thriller ever made.

RATINGS:

10/10 Popcorn

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