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Mario Bautista, has been with the entertainment industry for more than 4 decades. He writes regular columns for People's Journal and Malaya.

May 4, 2011

Tumbok - Perfect to those who want a fright movie

AFTER SUCH duds as “Sundo” and the “Isla Engkanto” episode in “Shake Rattle & Roll 12”, Director Topel Lee redeems himself in his latest horror flick, “Tumbok”. It has plenty of scary scenes that really succeed in giving viewers a good jolt. The film is premised on the superstitious belief that living in a house or a building that is directly hit by another road (“natutumbok” in Tagalog) brings bad luck. Set in an old decrepit building abandoned by most of its tenants, it’s initially reminiscent of Yam Laranas’ “Sigaw” that also has such an ancient structure as its setting.

But the story is actually more complicated, involving a newly married young couple, Grace and Ronnie (Cristine Reyes, Carlo Aquino), who moves into a unit in this rotting building (the Regina Bldg. in Escolta was used for this) that turns out to be haunted. It turns out it’s not just an ordinary kind of haunting. We don’t want to reveal much of the plot as it’ll be a spoiler. Suffice it to say that the major twist is somewhat akin to the classic Ira Levin best-seller turned into a horror classic by Roman Polanski, “Rosemary’s Baby”.

The film is well served by its leading lady, Cristine Reyes, who really has the makings of a good actress. She’s consistently effective here as the beleaguered heroine. There’s not much chemistry between her and Carlo as husband and wife but, in all fairness to Carlo, he also does acquit himself quite well in the role of a police reporter who has a dark deep secret in his past. Good supporting performances are also delivered by LJ Moreno as Cristine’s cousin who has a third eye (her death scene is one of the scariest scenes in the film), Malou de Guzman as a neighbor who knows the secret about Carlo’s family, Anna Capri as LJ’s mother who took care of Carlo and also his son, Ryan Eigenmann as a mysterious entity in the spooked building, and Ara Mina in a guest but meaty role as Carlo’s mother who lost her mind after killing her own daughter who’s Carlo’s younger sister. If you enjoy being terrified, then we recommend that you should not miss this movie that’s guaranteed to give you a good scare.