It’s the first and opening day of Metro Manila Film Festival 2011 and first on our list is Star Cinema’s Segunda Mano. This is actually the second film I’m supposed to watch just to literally take and make a pun to the meaning of its title, Second Hand. But I lost with the majority of my companions decision that instead of Shake Rattle and Roll 13, we watched Segunda Mano.
Mabel Domingo (Kris Aquino), the owner of a high-class, but creepy, antique shop, only wants herself and her mother to move on from the tragic past of losing her sister as she carries the guilt of causing her death. She meets Ivan Galvez (Dingdong Dantes), a rich and successful architect who only wants to find the perfect wife and mother for his young daughter Angel to finally have a complete and happy family after his ex-wife, Mariel (Angelica Panganiban) left for him for another man.
Since Ivan’s proposal, Mabel is haunted by an unknown ghost who seems to endanger everyone around her. As the terror escalates, she discovers an unexpected twist that will test her love for Ivan.
Segunda Mano promises to offer a mind-boggling horror story and succeeds on boggling one for a while. But it spread over bits of clues throughout the first half which made the story quite predictable.
Horror fans will be sorely disappointed because the movie isn’t ‘supernaturally’ scary at all. There may be enough build up for suspense and tension but there’s always this unimaginative, unnecessary and lame jump-out scares that would ruin the moment. Blame the fucking cats!! LOL.
Being not scary doesn’t mean the movie won’t qualify to the horror genre though, for Segunda Mano movie boasts creepy, atmospheric settings where the story would take you to; Be it in the antique shop, a psychic’s old ancestral house or The Road.
There’s good cinematography throughout the whole film, visually the images are crisp and lighting is commendable. There’s also a fresh and techie(say choppy) way of representing a dreadful apparition. But one thing that surprised me is that the characters were all well portrayed. From Dingdong, to Angelica, to Ms. Helen Gamboa and surprisingly with Kris Aquino; they all did great acting jobs here. But if there’s any character in the movie that well deserves a mention it’s none other than that funny overacting Bangs Garcia who’s got a realistic approach of getting scared. She is definitely one damn scene stealer!
Kris Aquino is wrong however of saying Segunda Mano is a story about three characters. That is simply because, Mariel (Angelica Panganiban) didn’t have any character development or even a back story that would give her enough screen time as Mariel. They cut that scene from the teaser where Angelica was combing her daughter’s hair which could have helped on revealing the interrelationships between the three characters. They just showed what happened to her, why is she around and the end.
Not the least bit scary until the last 20 minutes of the film where a good twist of suspense was unleashed that made our disappointed souls come to life again. All in all, Segunda Mano is an entertaining combination of suspense and melodrama. With respect to the genre, I believe Segunda Mano is an interesting two-twisted horror movie that isn’t scary at all. JUST INTERESTING. .