MANILA - Halloween is just around the corner, and with it comes certain traditions. Some will go hunting for sweets while some will attend costume parties.
But of course, one of the most popular activities (and the least expensive one) is sitting down with a group of friends and watching a horror flick with the lights turned off.
If you're still looking for something to watch for the night, here a few suggestions:
1. Wag Kang Lilingon
Star Cinema and Viva Films team up for the 2006 horror film "Wag Kang Lilingon." It is directed by Quark Henares ("Keka," "Rakenrol") and television director Jerry Lopez Sineneng, and is one of the earliest attempts of actress Anne Curtis at the horror genre. It also stars Kristine Hermosa and Marvin Agustin, with a script penned by critically acclaimed Filipino writer Ricky Lee.
In the film's first part, Curtis plays the role of a night shift nurse named Melissa. The episode titled "Uyayi" (Lullaby) tells the story of the character's investigation on the numerous deaths that have happened and are happening on the hospital grounds.
For the second part, Hermosa takes the spotlight as her family moves into a new house, which seemed uninhabited for years. The episode titled "Salamin" (Mirror) also stars veteran actress Cherry Pie Picache.
2. Feng Shui
Under the guidance of veteran director Chito Roño, "Feng Shui" became one of Star Cinema's most successful films --both critically and financially-- and kicked off a line of horror flicks starring actress Kris Aquino. The film was followed by "Sukob" (2009), which was also directed by Roño, "Dalaw" (2010), and "Segunda Mano" (2011).
A sequel for the film is currently in production, and will be the studio's official entry to the 2014 Metro Manila Film Festival. The cast is reported to include Coco Martin, Cherry Pie Picache, Ian Veneracion, Joem Bascon, Carmi Martin, Joonee Gamboa, Martin Escudero. It will also be directed by Roño.
In Feng Shui, Aquino plays the role of Joy Ramirez whose life begins to change after finding a cursed "bagua."
3. Patayin sa Sindak si Barbara
Star Cinema's "Patayin sa Sindak si Barbara" is a 1995 horror film starring Lorna Tolentino, Tonton Gutierrez, and Dawn Zulueta. It is a remake of the 1974 film featuring Susan Roces, Rosanna Ortiz, and Dante Romero.
It was later remade into a mini-television series, which aired during primetime on ABS-CBN in 2008, top-billed by Kris Aquino and Jodi Sta. Maria.
The film tells the story of a deadly love triangle between Barbara (Tolentino), her younger sister Ruth (Zulueta), and a man named Nick, played by Gutierrez. The love quarrel led to one of the characters committing suicide and haunting those who have wronged her.
4. The Healing
Critically-acclaimed and veteran actress Vilma Santos celebrates her 50th year in show business with the independent Filipino horror-suspense film "The Healing," helmed by award-winning director Chito Roño. Co-starring in the film is Kapamilya star Kim Chiu.
The film was distributed by Star Cinema.
The film was a hit locally, grossing more than 100 million according to Box Office Mojo, and was also screened in countries such as the US and the United Arab Emirates. The film tackles the Filipino tradition of faith healers.
Cinco is a 2010 psychological horror film from Star Cinema. It consists of five different horror stories with various actors and directors. Among the notable names involved in the project are directors Cathy Garcia-Molina ("Got To Believe") and Frasco Mortiz ("The Reunion," "24/7 in Love").
Actors Sam Concepcion, Robi Domingo, and Baron Geisler stars in the film's first episode, while Jodi Sta. Maria takes the spotlight in the second. Maja Salvador, Rayver Cruz, Pokwang, and Zanjoe Marudo are some of other the familiar faces that appears in the film's succeeding episodes.
6. Pagpag: Siyam na Buhay
Teen stars Daniel Padilla and Kathryn Bernardo team up for the 2013 horror film "Pagpag: Siyam na Buhay," which was directed by Frasco Mortiz. It was Star Cinema's entry into the 39th Metro Manila Film Festival and was named the festival's Youth Choice. The film grossed more than 150 million, according to the studio.
Pagpag plays around the Filipino superstition surrounding a traditional wake; that guests of the deceased should shake off the spirit of the dead by not going straight home after visiting. It also stars Shaina Magdayao, Paulo Avelino, Miles Ocampo, Enchong Dee, among others.
7. Maria Leonora Teresa
"Maria Leonora Teresa" is the latest horror offering from Star Cinema. It stars actress Iza Calzado, Zanjoe Marudo, and Jodi Sta. Maria.
The film drew criticisms for inadvertently taking the name of the doll, made famous by the love team of Nora Aunor and Tirso Cruz III back in the 1970s. Director Wenn Deramas ("Sisterakas," "The Unkabogable Praybeyt Benjamin") made it clear that the film has no intention of tarnishing the reputation of the famous doll.
The synopsis for the film reads: "After a tragic incident during their field trip, three parents Faith (Calzado), Julio (Marudo), and Stella (Sta. Maria) mourned the deaths of their respective daughters: Maria, Leonora, and Teresa."
"To help cope with their loss, a psychiatrist offers them life-sized dolls to look after. But the situation only worsens when the toys appear to be brought to life by a sinister force."