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‘Bahay ni Lola 2’ Film Review: More comedy than horror

[Total: 0    Average: 0/5]

Following the footsteps of a number of successful Asian horror offerings, Regal Films revives “Bahay ni Lola” with the attempt to further break into the horror genre trend. This sequel targets those who prefer getting some creepy chills while inside the dark and cold moviehouse. Unfortunately, it isn’t very scary. In fact, its comic side becomes a more appealing aspect of the presentation.

For this second installment in the “Bahay ni Lola” franchise, everything turns out so contrived and way too predictable. The attempt to scare doesn’t really work.

This mainstream fare offers nothing new or interesting for the general audience. Even in its final moments, the story lacks a decent twist and a solid ending. The characters’ emotional parts are questionable, especially come resolution time. Turn of events would most likely not affect the viewers’ mood and mindset in any way.

On the technical side, the cinematography tries to live up to the needs of the genre. Except for the smoke effects rendering so fake on screen, the presentable visuals becomes the film’s “bit of saving grace.” Amidst the use of many horror stereotypes, at least, the production design still adds a bit of horror atmosphere to the scenes.

This movie couldn’t stand on its own ground even with the typical horror components utilized in the sequences, which include the white-painted scary faces plus uncombed hair, the gory shots of blood and insects, the dark and shadowy lighting, and the generic horror sound design and music. The seemingly initiated shock factor is almost nonexistent throughout.

On-screen performances have no venue to showcase top-notch skills on the acting department. One can easily notice the inconsistencies in Dingdong Dantes’ character — the sense of mystery and fear his role needs is actually nowhere to be found. Most genre elements are poorly copied from contemporary Asian flicks such as “The Ring” and “The Grudge.”

There seems to be no much effort to develop the narrative. More work on the script could have tracked the movie a bit more forward.

Scare and suspense are often lacking on screen. The story’s comedic aspects, as rendered by the likes of John Lapus and Chokoleit, almost always upstage the scare factor of this B-movie horror flick. With poor vision and execution, the comic relief part really surfaces more than the supposedly scary moments.

Rianne Hill Soriano
Rianne Hill Soriano is a freelance production artist working as a director, writer, educator, and consultant in film and commercial productions. 
http://www.riannehillsoriano.com
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