Movie review: Shake, Rattle and Roll 13
by Miguel Sevilla
Horror, along with comedy, is one of the Metro Manila Film Festivalʼs biggest-selling
commodities. Thatʼs why the Shake, Rattle and Roll series has firmly occupied that corner
of the festival year after year even with rival studios now wanting a piece of the action.
While the series languished in its middle period, particularly in the post-Peque Gallaga era,
its more recent installments became a training ground for new directorial talent, providing
the series with some of its most memorable episodes. However, the series always
struggled with consistency, lumping in these gems with some terrible episodes.
This yearʼs installment assembles a formidable collection of filmmakers and to their credit,
while some episodes are weaker than the others, none are laughably bad. And for the
Shake, Rattle and Roll series, thatʼs saying something.
Parola is the story of two best friends who accidentally awaken the spirits of
two warring witches after a trip to the lighthouse. While the previous episode struggled with
the story, thereʼs enough material here to sustain a 90-minute movie.
The characters are developed surprisingly well throughout the course of the episode. And
it helps that the two central performances are strong, particularly that of Kathryn Bernardo.
Thereʼs smart directing, great camerawork and some genuinely frightening moments,
some of which have never been seen before in the seriesʼ history.
It might have bitten off more than it could chew, especially with the characters of the
parents. Thereʼs also an anti-climactic tone to its final showdown and a twist at the very
end rings false, but all in all, this is still one of the best episodes the series has produced.
Rain, Rain, Go Away deals with a couple that is haunted by the memories of Ondoy and a
dark secret that they wished to remain buried in the flood. Itʼs not as great as it could have
been, itʼs still enjoyable for what it ultimately ended up being. The director handles the
mood of the scenes very well and there are some great set pieces here. The screenplay is
messy, taking its time in telling a perfectly simple story and loses the sharpness and its
energy as it goes on to the end.
There are rumors that this would be the last installment in the series. And that would be a
shame. It was actually on its dying breath six or seven installments. But the recent years
had some of the seriesʼ more memorable episodes. And with this particular installment and
you can see the series hitting its stride once more.