“Ilawod” Review: Effective Scares, Top Notch Performances

ILAWOD (2017) Review
Directed by Dan Villegas

Dan Villegas’ first venture into the horror genre as a director with a script from Palanc winner Yvette Tan delivers what a horror film needs, scares but the story is safe, not digging deeper for a more genuine horror movie experience.

The film has all the Asian horror feels, and is an effective one if one may add. It smartly veers away from telling a backstory of a folklore, but focuses and follows the story of how Ilawod came into the lives of the Carandangs. Ian Veneracion as Dennis, Iza Calzado as Kathy, Xyriel Manabat as Bea and Harvey Bautista as Ben are all perfect for their roles as the family being haunted by the element of water, but the noteworthy performance in the film is Therese Malvar as Isla or Ilawod. There is something sensual and eerie when she looks, and when she’s on the screen, the story moves with her.

Once the film starts, the story of Ilawod starts with it. The film is as it is, you’re following the story of a family struggling from having personal problems and a new one that seems to be tearing their family apart, hardly knowing the cause and no clue on how to end it. It is your Final Destination meets Asian horror movie done the right way, because not only that its scares are effective, it keeps its story personal, that the audience can still connect emotionally.



3.5 stars

“Ilawod” is now showing in Philippine cinemas nationwide from Quantum Films, MJ Productions, Tuko Film Productions, Inc. and Buchi Boy Entertainment. Rated R-13 by the MTRCB.

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