Directed by Peter Abanna
There are not a lot of hiking horror stories especially in the Philippines. And if you think about it, the story seems basic: a regular barkada trip gone bad. But it will always comes down to the execution. And ‘Banal’ was quite impressive in its scares and thrills.
Banal is not your typical Filipino horror story set in a haunted house or tells a story about a ghost. What sets it apart is that it’s also experiential. The story takes the audience to the horrors of the characters’ journey. And its strange atmosphere is what makes ‘Banal’ worthy to be called a real horror movie. It just makes you feel the danger and the horrors of what to happens next, the way you thought it would and the way the actual film would. Because, sometimes a horror movie works if the scares are already built in your head.
Bianca Umali, Miguel Tanfelix, Andrea Brillantes, Taki and Kim Last might not be the usual stars we see on the big screen but they definitely made their presence felt from start to finish. Their dynamics as a group worked from the light parts, to the heavy and scary parts of the movie.
I’m not sure who Peter Abanna, the film’s director is. I wish I could see more of his works. Some say it’s a pseudonym of Michael Tuviera, won’t be surprised as the film may look like one of his, in terms of clean editing and effective mounting of the dramas.
3.5 OUT OF 5 STARS
‘Banal’ is now showing in cinemas nationwide from APT Entertainment, Inc. Rated R-13 by the MTRCB. Special thanks to GMA Artist Center and Team Miguel Tanfelix for the special screening invites.