4 Pinoy Horror Movies That Will Give You the Creeps for Days

In the mood for a spookfest? Beware. These movies will haunt you



Yanggaw (2008)


Photo via Spot.ph



Based on an Ilonggo myth about aswangs, Yanggaw tells the story of a girl named Amor (Aleera Montalla) who catches an unknown disease that turns her monstrous. During day time she is herself albeit sick, but at night she brutally murders and feasts on the innards of humans and animals—at first without her knowing. After confirming what has happened to her, Amor’s family desperately wants to keep her away from the townspeople for everyone’s sake (the bloody way), but each of them struggles to do so since she is still family. More importantly, it’s because they hope that she will get better one day. Yanggaw, after all, means “infection” or “affliction” in Ilonggo, while also referring to humans who have turned into aswangs. The double meaning lends itself important in how we can view monsters: that one can be a victim of it while being a threat to others (perhaps victim first before a threat), or if we are also our grotesque selves.


Showcasing stellar work by director Richard Somes and actors Ronnie Lazaro, Joel Torre, Tetchie Agbayani and Erik Matti, Yanggaw won the Audience Choice Award in the Cinema One Originals Festival in 2008. In the 2009 Philippine Movie Press Club’s Star Awards for Movies, it bagged the Digital Movie of the Year, Digital Movie Director of the Year, Digital Movie Cinematographer of the Year and Digital Movie Production Designer of the Year.


Why you should watch it: The movie has a fine take on our country’s own monster. Apart from the possible insights you can form upon watching the film (after getting over the creeps, that is), witnessing an innocent girl turn bestial against her will and before her family’s eyes is as horrifying as it is heartbreaking (if you think about it). Montalla shines in the role.


Feng Shui (2004)


As the title suggests, Feng Shui has to do with Chinese superstitious beliefs, particularly about feng shui (how certain arrangements at home can affect energies within and outside the house) and the Chinese zodiac (how your animal sign influences your personality, compatibility with others and success). The film is about a cursed Bagua mirror picked up by Joy (Kris Aquino), the curse being that people who stare at it will die in a way that’s related to their zodiac sign. Unaware of the curse and believing it to bring good luck, Joy places it in her home. She finds herself fortunate: she gets promoted at work and wins a grand prize in a store promo. But soon enough the people who are closest to Joy who have stared at the mirror one by one die catastrophic deaths and they haunt Joy. She doesn’t want to give the mirror away to anybody and make the curse continue, so she has to break the curse before it gets to her.


Why you should watch it: While you can predict who is next on the death list and guess the characters’ zodiacs to construe how they can die (you might as well watch the film to find out yourself!), Feng Shui delivers disaster when and how it should, stunning you. And considering that it doesn’t spare its victims, you’ll feel the urgency to end the curse as much as Joy does. But how can a person do that if the one who cursed the mirror is more powerful than you, and you are crippled by horror, grief and fear to come up with a plan?


Kris Aquino’s performance in the well-received film dubbed her “Philippines’ Box Office Horror Queen.”


Numbalikdiwa (2006)


Fashioned after director Bobi Bonifacio’s imagination, the film is about numbalikdiwa, an ancient practice that involves feeding a diseased person’s meat and bones to someone else in order to let that dead person live again in the eater’s body, and this time, to live for good.


Anton’s (Ping Medina) ailing grandmother Nimia (Estrella Kuenzller) knows the numbalikdiwa ritual and is eager to teach it to him. Nimia presses Anton about feeding her remains to Karissa (Meryll Soriano), her adoptive granddaughter and secretly Anton’s love interest. Anton is then torn between the two women in his life. But one night Karissa dies in a car crash, leaving Anton with a new decision to make: Will he let Karissa rest in peace or will he feed her remains to someone else? If so, to whom?


Why you should watch it: The very sick plot is itself intriguing and promising, and the film leaves room for you to mull over the significance of death and most of humanity’s desire for eternal life. Pair that with a strong cast and you’re sure to be taken by it.


The Road (2011)


The Road weaves together through a three-chapter narrative a 12-year-old case of two missing women, a new disappearance case involving three teenagers and the two-decade history of the abandoned road where the disappearances took place—a history rife with abduction and cold-blooded murders.


Directed by Yam Laranas, the film begins at the present time and travels further into the past as it progresses. As it does, you are thrown one chilling revelation after another. (Wish we could tell you more, but you’re better off hitting that play button knowing as little as possible about the plot.)


Why you should watch it: The film has received positive reviews from critics and viewers alike not for the way it seeks to make the hairs on your skin rise and your spine tingle. It’s nothing but corny: none of those sound effects that send your heart racing even when you know there’s nothing to be scared about. To deliver suspense, Laranas relies on the strange details and images of the story, color palettes fitting for each decade, and excruciating silence.

Words Stephanie Shi

Alex Lara

Is a creative that loves to tell stories through art direction and curating images that capture, inspire and excite whoever sees them.

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