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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.

Sep 23, 2015

Resureksyon Review: Isabelle Daza And Jasmine Curtis Smith Deliver Sterling, Effortless Performance In This Horror Flick About Vampires

ISABELLE Daza and Jasmine Curtis Smith both deliver sterling, effortless performances in the horror film about vampires, “Resureksyon”, now showing in theaters. Both also look very beautiful on screen even if they have very little make up as they play simple provincianas. Isabelle has very little dialogue. When the story starts, she’s already dead and the opening scene shows Jasmine as her sister fetching her coffin at the pier. But her dominant screen presence leaves it mark on screen.

The scene where everyone is praying at the wake then she suddenly sits up inside her coffin, making everyone scamper for safety, was really a shocker. Isabelle’s facial expression, so fierce and inscrutable, is just perfect to set the tone for what happens next. She turns into a vampire and everyone she bites also turns into one.

In brief flashbacks, we learn that the sisters were orphaned at an early age and grew up deeply caring for each other. But Isabelle as Mara has to work abroad as a domestic helper at the Serbian Embassy in Myanmar for the sake of her love son, Raikko Matteo, and the boy was left under the care of Jasmine as Ayla.

Jasmine, who looks so lovely from any angle and surely acts better than her Ate Anne, seeks the help of cops after her sister first killed someone. As usual, the cops won’t believe her and her uncle, John Lapus. Things quickly escalate and the cops have an encounter with the vampires in a cemetery, in a hospital and in the finale inside a church. The audience inside Gateway Theater where we watched it were all screaming their lungs out during the sequences where the vampires are chasing and attacking humans.

Paulo Avelino as a dedicated cop and Alex Castro as the town’s doctor both do well in all their scenes. Giving hilarious support is Nino Muhlach as the town mayor whose termagant wife, Gee Canlas, is one of the first victims.

“Resureksyon” is the first mainstream movie of Director Borgy Torre, who impressed us in his debut film with Cinema One Digitals, “Kabisera”, where Joel Torre, Bing Pimentel and Art Acuna gave superb portrayals. He knows his craft but he has this tendency of being carried away by too much stylization that calls attention to itself and does not really help move the story in a more believable manner. That scene in the hospital where the screen turns red, then the light turns on and off like a blinking Christmas light, is actually a turn off.
This kind of sequence was executed more effectively by Mike Tuviera in that “Emergency” episode of “Shake Rattle & Roll 10” in 2008 where Wendell Ramos as the king of the aswangs attack a hospital to rescue his wife, Mylene Dizon. There are also scenes in “Resureksyon” that are not adequately lighted you can’t exactly figure out what’s happening on screen. Next time, we hope he can unfold his narrative in a more straightforward manner and employ less jarring and needless cinematic legerdemain.