Banal Review (2019)
Is the new horror flick Banal worth the admission price? Let’s find out together. Here’s my Banal review which will open May 29 and stars Bianca Umali, Miguel TanFelix, Andrea Brillantes, Taki and Kim Last.
The film is distributed by APT Entertainment by the way.
I like how the horror genre in the Philippines is fast evolving and they are continually producing better and better local horror films. Sure there are some that hit the mark while others miss completely. In the case of Banal, it had its moments and it was good. We’ll get into the details of that later.
This film is basically a “what-not-to-do-in-a-sacred-mountain” picture. There were a lot of past horror films that were taken into consideration and inspiration for key scenes. They take that and they put their own spin on it. Found it nice. Like that classic shadow scene from “The Blair Witch Project”, its there.
The movie has a number of good jump scares too. Four or five if I recall correctly. All have their own strengths and plays with the viewers fears or connection to the film.
The cast ranged from OK to great. Bianca Umali was great in this, she plays Erika, a young woman who badly wants her wish to be fulfilled whatever it takes. Throughout the film, Umali shows her greatly improved acting chops. The same can be said with her loveteam Miguel TanFelix who shows signs that he has potential to be a serious drama actor in the future.
Tensions within the film are made better with Andrea Brillantes’ acting. I actually found myself thinking whether its really just acting or can she really go to those levels of being… assertive. Also that means she’s at home with her character in the film.
Another Kapuso star Taki (from Eat Bulaga) was OK too. There’s a plot twist to the film where she’s involved and she was good in the third act. She could use a little more fine-tuning, but hey, she’s going to be a popstar in Japan so maybe that could take a backseat.
Lastly, I have to commend the cast and crew for being able to shoot on location. It really helped that they did the shoot outdoors as it added an immense feel of creepiness and gave a more sinister vibe.
Banal Review – Verdict
Banal proves that there is more energy and life for the horror genre. It does suffer from a rather problematic third act though and does not close some of the plots that have been unraveled in the first two acts. Still, I thought Banal was OK for a horror movie. Watch it and expect chills and gore.
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