Movie Review: Dalaw

Dalaw starts with a nightmare from whence Stella (played by Kris Aquino) wakes up screaming.  A picture frame showing a photo of her husband is seen on the foreground.  Apparently, Stella has long suffered from an abusive relationship courtesy of her husband.  Both figured in a vehicular accident which Stella survives.  That accident opened Stella’s “third-eye” or her ability to sense the presence of spirits.  Stella reunites with an old flame Anton (played by Diether Ocampo) and marries him.  Because of the health condition of Anton’s mother, they decided to move in with her.  That’s when all hell breaks loose.  A vengeful spirit hounds Stella unceasingly.  She continues to assume that it is her dead husband who is hounding her.  Big mistake.

After two box-office hits under the horror genre, Kris Aquino tries her luck not only as the lead actress in Dalaw but also as Executive Producer.  Does this film deliver?  Well, Dondon Santos is no Chito Rono.  He may have studied filmmaking abroad but  he lacks the genius of Chito Rono.  Don’t get me wrong but there were some scary moments in Dalaw but you somehow expected them and that’s the worst thing for a horror movie.  I also wonder if Kris knew there was a 2009 horror movie with the same title which starred Katrina Halili.  Katrina’s version was about young girls having their menstrual cycle with a horror twist. That’s why I find it odd that Kris allowed this to be titled as such.  It could have been better if they called it GALIT or GANTI or POOT because this movie is really all about anger and vengeance.  Does Kris retain her crown as Horror Queen?  Yes and No.  She is credible enough in her acting but under a lesser director her unguarded mannerisms were all over the place.  As for the other players in the movie, I take my hats off to Gina Pareno.  I didn’t see any relevance to her mouthing movie lines by Vilma Santos but she is such a trouper and she delivered it with gusto and still manage to appear frightening.  And how, pray tell, can an angry ghost turn into a physical entity (like a zombie) and try to kill Kris’ character.  Beats me.

This is not Kris Aquino’s best horror film.  Her showbiz friends have been very kind to her with all those superlatives being said about the movie.  Feng Shui, for me, is still the best.  GESM rating:  

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