‘Rabid’ Review: Fun horror anthology film

RABID (2021) Review
Directed by Erik Matti

Watching horror films during the pandemic is the least of my favorite thing to do. The images and situations these films give only add stress to my already stressful life. But some actually are exceptions.

Erik Matti’s Rabid is that type of horror that knows how to have fun. It’s dark, campy and intriguing, making my watching experience way better than watching other horror films during the pandemic.

Rabid is a horror anthology consists of four stories. Four twisted stories. These are four cautionary tales not just for the pandemic. What happens when you let a stranger inside your house? How much can you sacrifice for love? That we should always choose to be kind especially if it’s our job. And lastly, how far can we go to survive this unfair and chaotic world?

The film is not your typical horror movie but you’ll definitely see and feel Erik Matti here. The texture and how the scenes are directed, there’s that usual Erik Matti film energy. I think one story or two can be made into a full-length film. There’s potential in the stories that you’re invested in the characters’ journey.

The first one, Kami Lang Ba Ang Pwedeng Malasin? was wonderful. Honestly, I’m only familiar with Jake Macapagal and Kent Gonzales but the ensemble is amazing. Maybe it helped that the story is short, it kept everything tight and fast-paced. It kind of feel special that the story isn’t just about a stranger or mangkukulam inhabiting someone’s home. It shifts into something very Filipino, and the treatment made it fun. Campy but still right for its story.

The second one, Iba Pa Din Ang Karne is kind of experimental. It almost feel like a Lav Diaz movie. From black and white, to having silent moments. It’s short but weirdly engrossing. Thanks to Vance Larena and Pam Gonzales’ performances.

The third one, Shit Happens is crazy. I remember Sam Raimi’s Drag Me To Hell on this one. Unapologetic and fun ride into the insane world. Ayeesha Cervantes is a revelation. All the toughness and gore she has to go through for this movie is crazy. But it definitely was worth it.

The final film, HM? may be the most Shake Rattle and Roll in the anthology. Not that it feels unoriginal but the story feels like it’s part of an SRR anthology. There’s a lot of themes that resembles a Filipino horror movie. Hitting bottom, wanting to be someone great, and then an opportunity comes, the main character takes it without knowing that there are consequences. It may sound old but the execution of the story is effective. Donna Cariaga shows that she can act, and she does well. She carried the whole film effectively.

Rabid is now available to stream on Upstream.PH. The film stars Ameera Johara, Ayeesha Cervantes, Brace Arquiza, Cheska Diaz, Donna Cariaga, Jake Macapagal, Jay Glorioso, Kent Gonzales, Pam Gonzales, Ricci Rivero, Ube Lola, Vance Larena, and Ynigo Delen, and directed by Erik Matti.

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