Verdict: Proceed with Caution

Pinoy Rebyu Score: 2.85 (23 ratings)

Genre: Horror, Romance

Director: Jerrold Tarog

Writers: Jerrold Tarog, Aloys Adlawan

Cast: Lovi Poe, Paulo Avelino, Albie Casiño, Jillian Ward, Joem Bascon, Marc Abaya, Precious Lara Quigaman, Niña Jose

Synopsis: A reimagining of Peque Gallaga and Lore Reyes’s 1992 film. The new version tells the story of two kids who witness the murder of their parents and who escape unwittingly into a town plagued by a subspecies of aswangs called Ab-wak. Terrorized by the monsters and the assassins running after them, the two kids are helped by a kind Ab-wak named Hasmin. Things get more complicated when Daniel, one of the assassins, falls in love with Hasmin and decides to help her in her plan to escape her fate as queen of the Ab-waks.

Trailer: 

Reviews:

4.0        Ria Limjap (Spot.ph)

Aswang smells like a hit. It blends Filipino folklore and speculative fiction, horror and action (hurrah for that dying genre), stars and starlets, inventive production design and attention to detail. In the end, this intelligent movie will compel the audience to think along with it—just as much as it will entertain, fascinate, and provide much needed escape.” (Read full review)

4.0        Earl Villanueva (PEP)

“But really, the stars are just the bonuses in this movie which is impressive narrative-wise, and more importantly, visually stunning, thanks to some breathtaking locations like the river, the forest and the convincingly designed abuwak mansion. (Read full review)

4.0         Phillip Cu-Unjieng (Philippine Star)

“With vivid images and effective use of lighting and camera angles, the sense of foreboding and atmosphere propels this film into a territory that more than compensates for the overburdened strands of plot.” (Read full review)

4.0        Mica Rodriguez (Cinegang)

“All in all, Jerrold Tarog did a fantastic job with this one… My only advice is do not expect much in the horror aspect, but focus on how the characters dealt with the circumstances given.” (Read full review)

4.0        Ihcahieh

“All in all, this movie is a decent thriller which does Philippine myth a favor by featuring our beloved local scare givers. Lately, it has always been about poltergeists caught on cam and ghosts in white who are addicted to hair rebonding. At least here, we get something truly Pinoy.” (Read full review)

3.5        Manuel Pangaruy (Taga-Ilog Special)

“May ilang eksena na litaw ang kumpromiso ng direktor sa producer nito (‘yung dream sequence, halimbawa) pero ang mabilis mag-isip ay mabilis ding magpatawad sa mga ganitong kalakalan ng malalaking film production.” (Read full review)

3.5        Mario Bautista (Showbiz Portal)

“The acting alone is already worth the price of admission. Technical credits are also good, from the cinematography and production design to the musical score and special effects. There are definitely some questions about the plotting but as a whole, it’s fairly effective in giving a good scare and making us cringe.” (Read full review)

3.5        Rito Asilo (Philippine Daily Inquirer)

“Our quibbles notwithstanding, this engaging chiller is unlike any horror flick you’ve seen—it deserves patronage for Tarog’s astute direction, its luscious, crisp images, the ornate tales and otherworldly creatures it successfully imagines—and the engaging insights it offers about the vagaries of love, ambition and survival.” (Read full review)

3.5        Pinoy Movie Blog

Aswang was a fresh take on the most popular Filipino-folklore. It’s definitely a must-see given it offered lots of thrill, action and adventure. There is a gem in cinematography and direction was superb as I expected.” (Read full review)

3.5        Carl Papa (Whatever, Carl)

“Even though I think that this film is the weakest among Jerrold Tarog’s feature films, that does not mean that I did not like it, in fact, I did.  Just that I think that Tarog has set a high bar for himself (his last film was my favorite movie from last year), a commercial film may pose to be a very hard task, and I think that he still did a pretty good job.” (Read full review)

3.0        Don Jaucian (Pelikula Tumblr)

“There is a push and pull of forces in Aswang. There is the direction that the director wants to take and another the producers prefer. Despite the hammy acting of the newcomers (Casiño, Ward, and Avelino), an awkward sex scene, and lags in pace, Tarog ultimately takes Aswang to an even darker point.” (Read full review)

3.0        Jowana Bueser (The Birth of Damnation)

“(Lovi Poe) has the enigmatic appearance going on for her. Plus she can act.” (Read full review)

2.5       Dodo Dayao (Lagarista)

“It fails in the acting and in perhaps trying to tell too many stories so you’re left to chew on the thick mood and gruesomeness instead, which can be tasty at times.” (Read full review)

2.5       Andrew dela Serna (Cinegang)

“Cinematography-wise, this film is a gem, but there’s nary a diamond-in-the-rough in its supposedly talented cast. Avelino and Poe portrayed easy roles as the good-looking protagonists that won’t win them acting awards anytime soon. Casino could’ve played a tree trunk without anyone noticing. I’d dare say that Bembol Roco really got into his role as the creepy groom-to-be and did a decent job at it. Otherwise “Aswang” is a horror film trying to be folklore that’s better read that watched.” (Read full review)

2.0       Philbert Dy (Click the City)

“Like many mainstream pictures, it’s trying to appeal to too broad a base, bringing together as many genres and talents as humanly possible, in the strange hope that vast swaths of people with differing interests will come together in the cinema. But the only effect is dilution, all the great ideas turned into a swirling mass of tedium.” (Read full review)

2.0      Skilty Labastilla (Musings from Three Time Zones)

“Mother Lily hired Jerrold Tarog to direct a full-length horror film based on the strength of his excellent Shake Rattle and Roll episode, Punerarya. Unfortunately, he fails to deliver the goods. His remake of Peque Gallaga’s Aswang is not scary enough for a horror film, not romantic enough for a love story, and too ineptly directed it makes you doubt the talent he has shown in his past work.” (Read full review)

2.0     Cathy Peña (Make Me Blush)

“The languid pace of the narrative could have worked well before the requisite escalation into the cinematic fireworks. The creatures could have been powerful images that stick to our consciousness. A lot of things could have worked. But it takes me back to the apparent disinterest of the victims when being pursued by the subterranean creatures.” (Read full review)

2.0     Pink Fox Patrol

“Too bad that a movie who had actors well worth the bite – had no bite at all. Yup, the ‘aswang’ in me would’ve loved to sink my teeth into Paulo Avelino and ditto to Lovi Poe (if I were straight) but sadly, even with Jerrold Tarog at the helm, I went out of the theater experiencing no fear or dread at any point during the movie.” (Read full review)

2.0     Reel Advice

Aswang is a film that obviously tries to do so much more that it actually forgets to include the most important thing in a horror film – the scare factor. While we give Aswang a point for effort (the film actually had a meaty and well-developed story), it still does not hide the fact that it is a completely boring 2 hour romp from start to finish and to be quite blunt, sucks.” (Read full review)

Capsules:

3.0        Alemberg Ang (Member, Cinephiles)

“Gusto ko ang kwento. Napabilib din ako sa ilang mga special effects. Medyo pangit lang ang ibang prosthetics at acting.”

2.5        Sanriel Ajero (Film blogger, Another Sani Day)

“Some good ideas, some great execution, but too plot-heavy and long and boring and uninteresting and has the lousiest cast and that little girl is so annoying I wish Regal Film has the guts to kill off a child. Also really getting tired of the Lovi Poe school of Jaclyn Jose acting. OA sa lumanay, parang hinehele ako matulog.”

1.5          Emmanuel dela Cruz (Member, Pinoy Film Buffs)

“‘Kala mo hindi si Jerrold ang gumawa. I had high expectations. Lumutang character ni Alby Casino for simply making sense. I will still watch Jerrold’s, Lovi’s and Paolo’s films after this. Sabi nga ni Remington: move on, move on na!”

1.0          Json Javier (Member, Cinephiles)

“Things to Remember When Creating a Classic Pinoy Horror Flick:

1. Popular myths should not be tampered with. If you’re redefining it, make sure it’s good.

2. Never let your actors sleepwalk through the movie. Better yet, get actors who can act (or in some cases, don’t overact).

3. Do not insert gratuitous sex scenes just because you have a hot cast.

4. Afros and creatures do not match (unless your movie is called Patayin sa Shokot si Remington).

5. Remove all unnecessary subplots. Focus on what you promise the audience.

6. Polish works on floors, nails, and film.

7. If you know you created a really bad movie, please don’t hint at a possible sequel.”

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