Aswang is a Filipino mythological creature most similar to the Western vampires. For years now, this popular folklore in the Philippines had stories which has been adapted into the screen countless times. But among the Aswang movies that I have watched only few had me astounded while others, I have forgotten.
Although hyped as the remake of the Pegue Gallaga film”Aswang” which starred Alma Moreno, the 2011 film Aswang seemed like original nevertheless still followed the first half of the classic film. It cannot be considered a remake though because the film just didn’t have that hair-raising horror the classic had. So perhaps it’s safe to say that this is a re-imagination of the 1992 Aswang movie – and quite a good one for the average movie audience.
Horror enthusiast like most people who would intend to watch Aswang may be disappointed though. And that’s because Jerrold Tarog did a scare-less attack on the supposedly horrifying ASWANG story. Yes, it wasn’t scary for an Aswang movie and that’s my major gripe on the totality of the movie. I’m one of those who could have bashed Tarog or Adlawan(writer) by adding romantic subplots in the story – giving people notions about a Twilight-like feel on Aswang.
But no, Aswang (2011) was a fresh take on the most popular Filipino-folklore. It’s definitely a must-see given it offered lots of thrill, action and adventure. There is a gem in cinematography and direction was superb as I expected. It offered enough cringe-inducing blood splatters which makes it a gory film – horrifying in that sense. There are also strong performances from leads, Lovi Poe as Hasmin and surprisingly, Paolo Avelino who played the role of a hitman named Daniel.
I however think that aside from Lovi and Paolo, Marc Abaya deserves a mention for his acting. While others gave so-so performances except for Albie Casino. Man, he really needs a lot of improvement in the film acting area. It could have gone better if they retained the role of the Yaya (played by Manilyn Reynes) in the classic than replacing the Yaya role with a cringe-worthy, apathetic and asthmatic Kuya. The movie suffered because of some unintentionally funny moments involving him(Albie), the drunkard who just let the Abuwaks feed on him and Nina Jose in the scene where she wanted to make that scene more thrilling. Fail!
Prosthetics used on the Abuwaks were quite good too, I honestly did not recognized Bembol Roco until the near end of the film. And the CGI, Special Effects didn’t look cheap. The ending was quite of a cliffhanger and that’s just why I can’t wait for the sequel! I hope there is one. 😀
All in all, you won’t be disappointed if you’re seeing it in the right mindset and that is a very open minded one.