Since the late 90’s we had a couple of films that somehow pushed the quality of movies in the country. We had Peque Gallaga’s Magic Temple which did not only prove we can incorporate other asian techniques in filmmaking with the lack of competent technology but also proved that we can have adventure films that can be at par with Hollywood at that time. The new millennium came and so did Chito S. Rono with his epic horror adventure films Spirit Warriors and its sequel Spirit Warriors: The Shortcut. Both were really good in my opinion and probably the first of the few Filipino films to show how technology can help elevate the quality of an original Filipino movie or even concept.

Later on there were a few not-so good attempts but as time passed by Filipino films under the horror, adventure, fantasy genres have gotten worse and worse. Horror and dark fantasy films we used to enjoy had been ousted by more productions of mediocre cookie cutter fantasy and (or) comedy movies under awful titles of “Enteng” and “Ina” in it. There’s also Bong Revilla Jr.’s recent film offerings who only banked on and took advantage of technology but failed to deliver great stories.

This year, director Erik Matti, back from his 7 years of mainstream film directing hiatus is a movie about the most feared Filipino folk monster called “Aswangs” in an all green screen movie entitled Tiktik: The Aswang Chronicles. This movie is a joint venture between 5 Film Production masters! We have Reality Entertainments, Agosto Dos, Mothership, PostManila and GMA Films all backing up with full force for the completion and distribution of the much anticipated project.

 

With dark shades on and a burning cigarette between his lips, Makoy (Dingdong Dantes) will do whatever it takes to get back his girlfriend Sonia (Lovi Poe), who’s pregnant with their child. He makes the trip to remote Pulupandan, her hometown, and is quickly rebuffed by Sonia’s mother Fely (Janice de Belen). Tired of his laziness, and devil-may-care attitude, Sonia refuses to see him as well. But Makoy has never been one to give up. With the help of Sonia’s father Nestor (Joey Marquez) and his ever-dependable helper Bart (Ramon Bautista), Makoy stays in town to surprise Sonia on her birthday. But alas, Makoy gets into trouble with a group of townsfolk who transform into tiktik—horrific, man-eating creatures with a taste for fetuses that are still in the womb! They are angry, and they are hungry for revenge. Will their thirst for blood and retribution be quenched? Will Makoy finally get his act together, protect Sonia and their baby, and once and for all prove himself worthy of their love? Who will win in the battle between men and monsters?

Hailed as the first Filipino movie shot entirely using green screen technology, the film boasts of highly stylized visuals that is comparable to films of Zach Snyder (300, Watchmen and Sucker Punch). In fact, Lovie Poe’s character, Sonia, reminds me of Baby Doll in Sucker Punch when she was firing off a machine gun. If Baby Doll is Alice in Wonderland in machine gun. Then Sonia is Maria Clara in machine gun. Irony is the new bad-ass! And take note, Sonia is pregnant for someone who carries and fires a gun. Given just that I could say as early as now that Sonia is one of the most bad-ass Filipino female characters in Philippine Cinema. The protagonist of the film, Makoy (Dingdong Dantes), is bad-ass character as well. He poses a devil-may-care character which is why this is gonna be more fun!

Another character who may steal the show is that of “Boy Bawang“. I don’t really know what’s his characters’ name since it wasn’t revealed. In fact, I only noticed him in the trailer firing garlic flavored korniks (corn nut) in slow motion with his improvised blowgun. I think we’re up for a surprise with the kid’s character. Reminds me of the exploding-corn spitting Omar in Magic Temple. 🙂

As how the producers put it, “Tiktik: The Aswang Chronicles” revisits the aswang myth and freshens it up, making use of the finest state-of-the-art technology that showcases world-class Filipino talent. Starring a formidable cast that includes Dingdong Dantes, Lovi Poe, Janice de Belen, Joey Marquez, and Ramon Bautista, “Tiktik” also features an ensemble of bloodthirsty creatures hungry for revenge. The question is: are the humans ready to defend themselves?”

I think Tiktik: The Aswang Chronicles just like RPG Metanoia is a pioneer effort that everyone should embrace as it sets the bar high in all aspects of Philippine cinema. The makers of the film actually hopes that their movie will change the landscape of horror movies in the country. A humble thing to say from the makers of a movie that will again attempt to elevate not only the quality of movies in the country but Philippine Cinema as a whole.

Mark your calendars this Oct. 17, 2012!