Episodes, segments, parts and series. These film dividers have become familiar to us. And I am honestly happy about it because I’m a big fan of the Shake Rattle and Roll franchise. Anyway, this Christmas is once again Regal Entertainments’ 14th installment of the Shake Rattle and Roll horror anthology and I’m super excited to it not only because it will be another trilogy but because it’s solely a Chito Rono movie. Star Cinema also came up with an omnibus horror film via Cinco in 2010. Cinco movie was such a breath of fresh air for me because it exceeded the usual three episode horror anthology in the country. And I can’t wait for the release of Cinco’s upcoming sequel which seems to be so much better because it’s a 10-part horror film with a title “Diez“.

This month we have “V/H/S” movie opening in theaters with 5 episodes of found footage horror shorts in one unique story arc. It’s the best horror film I’ve seen so far this year. In 2009, there’s Trick R Treat which consisted of 4 episodes all having equally awesome stories. Even South Korea’s got their own 5-part horror film anthology entitled “Horror Stories” this year. I’d also like to mention Thailands’ Phobia movies, Die A Violent Death and Haunted Universities as well as Indonesia’s “Chants Of Lotus“. And of course, the cross asian horror trilogy “Three Extremes” that was a joint effort by Hong Kong, Japan, South Korea all backed up by Lions Gate. The most recent omnibus film we had in the Philippines was Yam Laranas’ The Road.

These movies are called omnibus films or packaged movies. A full-length feature film consisting of several different short films that oftentimes follow one theme or share a common connection. In my personal opinion these movies gives us what seems to be tantamount to a 3-in-1 coffee. Tempting, practical, mainstream but completely satisfying. It will sometimes have an uneven taste as one of the episodes will always be better than the other. Rest-assured, either the movie or an episode of it will leave you satisfied in the end.

You may have noticed that the above mentioned films are mostly horror films. I just want to clarify that omnibus films are not restricted to the horror genre.  Hollywood have three of the best of all omnibus films namely “Pulp Fiction“, “Grindhouse” and “Sin City“. Well, Grindhouse was kind of horror but the two other films falls under the crime/action genres. There’s also European omnibus films that really are both winners “Paris Je T’aime” and “New York, I Love You”.

Asian Cinema also had maybe more than enough contributions of omnibus films of other genres. We have South Korea’s “Sad Movie” and” If You Were Me 5″. Here in the Philippines’ we have My First Romance, Bcoz of U, All About Love, Nestle’s Kasambuhay Sa Habambuhay Short Film Anthology and four upcoming omnibus romance films. This could be a good news for everyone out there. Along with Star Magic’s anniversary, the opening salvo of 2013 will be the event film “24/7 in Love” movie. While this year, we have Regal Entertainment taking us into a romantic train ride in an Adolfo Alix Jr. film entitled “Ride to Love”.

The film will feature stars from the three giant networks ABS-CBN, GMA-7 and TV5 which makes it a grand movie. What makes it more interesting is that it’s a movie about six love stories in one train ride.The other two are both MMFF 2012 entriesAng Mga Kwento Ni Lola Basyang” and “Shake Rattle and Roll 14“.

Now, if you ask me “Will Omnibus Films Be The Next Big Thing?“. In the country maybe yes but in other countries I think it’s less likely to happen. I mean Hollywood is still obsessing about fairytales and the found footage horror genre so I think it’s a no for hollywood. Korean Cinema in particular is very rich that the line up of their films are of all sorts and I don’t see any trend except maybe for “Sports movie” that has topped their box office charts this year. While here in the Philippines, I believe most moviegoers still judges a film by the stars in it, how many are they and how big their names are. Dumb fanatics. From that I could say that an omnibus film is going to be an event film for everyone and no doubt it’s going to make a lot of money. And having capitalist film outfits, they’ll surely produce more packaged movies which is for me quite a good thing. The downside if ever it becomes the next big thing is that we’ll get to see lots of pair-ups and it’s going to feel like what’s currently happening with “No Other Woman” and “A Secret Affair“.