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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.

Dec 2, 2019


carmina villaroel in SUNOD

carmina with director carlo ledesma

the cast, from left, susan africa, kate alejandrino, krystal brimner, red bustamante, mylene dizon, carmina villaroel, director carlo ledesma, jc santos and the scriptwriter

cast and director with Globe Studios exec Quark Henares

CARMINA VILLAROEL has been playing mainly supporting roles lately, both on film and on TV, so she’s now happy to be playing the lead role once again in the Metro-Manila Filmfest entry, “Sunod”.

“Ang tagal na ng last horror movie ko, ‘Shake, Rattle & Roll 2’ in 1984 where I did the ‘Kulam’ episode,” she says. “Ayoko talaga gumagawa ng horror kasi I feel creepy, but after I read the script of ‘Sunod’, I said, sige, I will do it, kahit na I was still taping ‘Kara Mia’ that time at ayoko nung naglalagari ako sa taping at sa shooting.”

What’s her role in “Sunod”? “I play Olivia, a single mom. Anak ko si Krystal Brimner and when she got sick, I accepted a high paying job in a call center to pay for her medical expenses. It turns out haunted pala yung old building ng call center at may sumusunod-sunod sa aking multo na naapektuhan pati kalagayan ng daughter ko.”

Did they really experience anything spooky while shooting “Sunod”? “Yes, we shot some scenes in the old Quezon Institute na haunted daw talaga. One night, bandang midnight na, biglang nagputukan lahat ng mga ilaw namin. Then at 3 AM naman, yung tiles sa kisame, biglang naglaglagan.

"Someone with a third eye said, pack up na tayo, nagagalit na sila kasi ang ingay natin. So umuwi na lang kami. After that, we’ll offer eggs and prayers at nagpapagpag kami ng asin to ward off daw any evil spirits. Wala namang masama sumunod sa ganung beliefs and okay naman, kasi hindi na naulit yung strange happenings that we experienced after that.

"But nakakatakot talaga yung movie kasi, ako mismo, I feel creepy during the shoot. In one scene, parang nagka-anxiety attack ako at hindi ako makahinga kasi kinikilabutan ako.”

She says “Sunod” is not your typical horror flick filled with jump scares. “This one is more quiet, full of foreboding and dread lang siya. Iba yung atake ng director namin, si Carlo Ledesma. He’s new but I trusted him.”

Carlo Ledesma used to be a host of the sports show “Gameplan” then he moved to Australia and became a filmmaker. His last movie was an acclaimed horror film, “The Tunnel”, done found footage style. Before “Sunod”, he co-wrote the screenplay of the well praised Metro filmfest entry, “Saving Sally”, starring Rhian Ramos.

How does Carmina feel that “Sunod” is just a replacement to the entry of Kris Aquino, “Kampon”? “Well, siempre disappointed kami when we didn’t make it to the first four entries. Nang ma-disqualify yung entry nila, ka-text ko si Ninang Kris, ninang namin siya ni Zoren sa kasal, and she said, sana yung entry nyo ang makuhang kapalit.

"I said, sana magdilang anghel siya. And that’s exactly what happened, so happy kaming lahat. Mabait si Ninang Kris and she even congratulated me nang makapasok kami.”

Supporting Carmina in the movie are Mylene Dizon as her boss in the call center, JC Santos and Kate Alejandrino as her co-workers, Red Bustamante (of “Seklusyon”) as the ghost, Susan Africa as Red’s mother. “Sunod” is the only horror entry in the coming filmfest so it has a good chance of doing well at the box office like other horror entries before it.

Her whole family is elated that she has a filmfest entry. “Very supportive sila, lalo na yung twins namin, sina Mavy and Cassy,” she beams. “Excited sila sa Parade of Stars at sasama raw sila sa akin sa float kasi gusto nila yung ma-experience.”